Since the time of Muybridge and Marey in the last half of the nineteenth century, studies of animal movement have relied on some form of high-speed or stop-action imaging to permit analysis of appendage and body motion. In the past ten years, the advent of megapixel-resolution high-speed digital imaging with maximal framing rates of 250 to 100,000 images per second has allowed new views of musculoskeletal function in comparative physiology that now extend to imaging flow around moving animals and the calculation of fluid forces produced by animals moving in fluids. In particular, the technique of digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) has revolutionized our ability to understand how moving animals generate fluid forces and propel themselves through air and water. DPIV algorithms generate a matrix of velocity vectors through the use of image cross-correlation, which can then be used to calculate the force exerted on the fluid as well as locomotor work and power. DPIV algorithms can also be applied to images of moving animals to calculate the velocity of different regions of the moving animal, providing a much more detailed picture of animal motion than can traditional digitizing methods. Although three-dimensional measurement of animal motion is now routine, in the near future model-based kinematic reconstructions and volumetric analyses of animal-generated fluid flow patterns will provide the next step in imaging animal biomechanics and physiology.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error