Neutrally buoyant, ultrasonically telemetering, differential pressure transducers were attached to Nautilus pompilius L. to record mantle cavity pressures while the animals were induced to swim in a flume in response to food.
Synchronized videotapes and computer data files showed that jet pressures (p, Pa) increased linearly with swimming speed (μ, ms−1), p=1565u-8.
Because of their stereotyped responses to food, Nautilus could be induced to produce similar pressures in 51 respirometers, where oxygen consumption (VO2 ml kg−1) increased as a power function of pressure, VO2=3.85p0.584
Combining these equations gave an oxygen consumption-speed relationship, VO2=283u0.584. We used this equation to show that the cost of transport for Nautilus is dramatically lower than that for squid and, at speeds below 0.05 ms−1, even lower than that of an undulatory swimmer, the salmon.
Calculated power inputs and outputs suggest that squid have increased their power density (W kg−1) 100-fold over their ectocochleate ancestors, and that Nautilus is very efficient in its low-speed, low-energy environment.
These laboratory ‘calibrations’ are a basis for field studies using telemeteredpressure data to develop energy budgets for this unique living fossil as a reference for comparing the energetic requirements of ancient and modern seas.
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JOURNAL ARTICLE| 01 November 1990
Speed, Jet Pressure and Oxygen Consumption Relationships in Free-Swimming Nautilus
R. K. O'DOR,
R. K. O'DOR
1 Motupore Island Research Department, University of Papua New Guinea, Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, B3H 4J1
2 Motupore Island Research Department, University of Papua New Guinea, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
M. J. WELLS
3 Motupore Island Research Department, University of Papua New Guinea, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3EJ, UK
Accepted: 21 Jun 1990
Online Issn: 1477-9145
Print Issn: 0022-0949
© 1990 by Company of Biologists
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R. K. O'DOR, J. WELLS, M. J. WELLS; Speed, Jet Pressure and Oxygen Consumption Relationships in Free-Swimming Nautilus. J Exp Biol 1 November 1990; 154 (1): 383–396. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.154.1.383
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