The feeding behavior of the Balaenoptera physalus, or more commonly known as fin whales, is some of the most extreme and somewhat curious feeding techniques among mammals and other aquatic vertebrate animals. The specific process includes a lunge deep into the ocean, and large gulp of water to catch many krill at one dive. These dives are relatively short due to the high energy expenditure, most likely due to the high drag exerted on the animal during the process. However, this drag is even more significant than previously thought. Due to the effects of apparent mass and momentum flux, the overall force is much greater than previously modeled. By mathematically modeling these effects during the lunge feeding process, researchers can have a more accurate understanding of additional inertial factors of ellipsoids, thus giving a better understanding in airship design.
Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study
Date of Submission
Nepa, Nina and Peters, Dave, "Big Gulp Gets Even Bigger: Effects of Apparent Mass and Momentum Flux on the Forces during Baleen Whale Feeding" (2017). Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Independent Study. 41.