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Fish Biomechanics: Purpose or Means?

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image of Netherlands Journal of Zoology
For more content, see Archives Néerlandaises de Zoologie (Vol 1-17) and Animal Biology (Vol 53 and onwards).

Together with the exponential development of high-technology recording and computation apparatus and its applicability in fish research, fish biomechanics has evolved from a rather occasional, mainly descriptive and qualitative approach, towards an active interdisciplinary field. Numerous quantitative analyses have led to a profound insight into the mechanics of a variety of biological phenomena. However, this still essentially descriptive approach often fails to explain the biological relevance of these phenomena. Mechanical modelling (at any level) can meet this problem. Consequently, biomechanics must not be regarded as an end in itself, but as an explanatory means in a broader biological perspective. In fish biology, questions in a wider array of disciplines, such as anatomy, morphogenesis, ecology, ethology and evolutionary biology can be tackled by applying biomechanics. A short review and some examples are given.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Antwerp (UIA), Belgium


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