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image of Crustaceana

In an aquatic environment, the hydrodynamic properties of animals strongly determine their transport and distribution. In macro-crustaceans, lacking well developed capabilities for regulating their specific gravity, hydrodynamic properties are to a large extent determined by their body size and body shape. For 96 macroscopic crustacean species, commonly occurring in the North Sea and eastern Atlantic, data regarding their (adult) body dimensions were fitted into a simple geometric model (an ellipsoid of revolution), which permitted the assessment of their hydrodynamic friction for horizontal and vertical movements. Friction coefficients for horizontal and vertical movement appear to be closely related to each other, vertical friction always being higher. Friction coefficients increase in species with size, but the volume-specific friction coefficients decrease, confirming a higher locomotory freedom in larger species. In the aquatic environment physical freedom is strongly limited by hydrodynamic factors. Certain changes in size and shape can increase physiological and physical independence. In this way crustaceans found many ways to escape the hydrodynamical limitations of their environment. A large variation in size and shape within the subphylum is still preserved.

Dans un environnement aquatique, les proprietes hydrodynamiques des aminaux determinent fortement leur transport et leur distribution. Chez les macro-crustaces, qui manquent de capacites bien developpees pour la regulation de leur gravite specifique, les proprietes hydrodynamiques sont dans une large mesure determinees par la taille et la forme de leur corps. Pour 96 especes macroscopiques de crustaces, communement presentes dans la mer du Nord et l'est de l'Atlantique, les donnees relatives aux dimensions de leur corps (chez les adultes) on ete entrees dans un modele geometrique simple (ellipso de de revolution), ce qui a permis d'evaluer leur friction hydrodynamique pour des mouvements vertical et horizontal. Les coefficients de friction pour les mouvements vertical et horizontal apparaissent comme etroitement lies l'un a l'autre, la friction verticale etant toujours plus elevee. Les coefficients de friction croissent avec la taille, mais les coefficients de friction en volume specifique decroissent, ce qui confirme une plus grande liberte locomotrice chez les plus grandes especes. Dans l'environnement aquatique, la liberte physique est fortement limitee par des facteurs hydrodynamiques. Certains changements dans la taille et la forme peuvent accro tre l'independance physique et physiologique. Ainsi, les crustaces ont trouve beaucoup de moynes pour echapper aux limitations hydrodynamiques de leur environnement. Une large variation dans la taille et la forme est encore preservee a l'interieur du subphylum.


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