Smells Fishy! How Fish Move On Land
Claiming the second highest endowment of all higher education institutions behind Harvard University, Yale University’s $30.3 billion endowment only goes so far and clearly taxpayer money is needed to fund its research.
That’s why the prestigious Ivy League university has received $2.5 billion in grants since 2017, including $685,410 from the National Science Foundation in 2021 for studying how fish move on land, looking at the “biomechanics of amphibious fish fins and mechanical principles of stiff lightweight structures.”
Researchers found fish apply great force to their thin, lightweight fins to move on land. “Through biological experiments, engineering device design, and mathematical modeling, the project seeks to uncover relationships between the form and function of fins used to move on land,” the project states.
They said the study is useful because “the mechanics of walking fish will help address the substantial challenges in designing agile robots capable of traversing diverse environments.”
Fish’s movements on land will help guide robots for search and rescue operations go where it is impossible or unsafe for humans to go, the researchers said.
Learning about these fish is also “critical for understanding how terrestrial vertebrates evolved from an aquatic ancestor that used its fins to move on land around 400 million years ago,” they said.
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