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Bioinspired Biotelemetry of Endangered Marine Organisms

Remoras are fishes that can attach to any surface, and hang on at high speeds and great depth. By learning the functional morphology behind this remarkable feat, we are developing a new non-invasive, long-term, reversible biotelemetry tag to use in marine ecology research, with a special interest in aiding the conservation of endangered marine migratory  organisms. 


ONR NURP grant will aid the effort

A grant by the Naval Undersea Research Program will help us in adding an energy harvesting device to the tag for future long term monitoring projects. 

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We learned how remoras sense when they can attach or are sliding off a host

Cohen et al. 2020.  Knowing when to stick: touch receptors found in the remora adhesive disc. Royal Society Open Science 7: 190990. PDF


We learned how remoras create a viscoelastic seal

Beckert et al. 2016. A model of interfacial permeability for soft seals in marine-organism, suction-based adhesion. MRS Advances 1(36):2531-2543. PDF


We found hydrodynamic advantages depending on attachment location

Flammang et al. 2020. Remoras pick where they stick on blue whales.  Journal of Experimental Biology 223(20): jeb.226654Supplementary materials. Featured in Inside JEB.

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Prototype adhesive disc developed

Gamel et al. 2019. Bioinspired remora adhesive disc offers insight into evolution. Bioinspiration and Biomimetics 14 056014. PDF

We learned that remoras have low parasitic drag

Beckert et al. 2016. Theoretical and computational fluid dynamics of an attached remora (Echeneis naucrates). Zoology 119(5):430-438. PDF

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We learned how the disc muscles control adhesion

Cohen et al. 2020. Sucker with a fat lip: the soft tissues underlying the viscoelastic grip of remora adhesion.  Journal of Anatomy


We learned how pressure is maintained under the disc

Flammang BE, Kenaley C. 2017. Remora cranial vein morphology and its functional implications for attachment. Scientific Reports 7:5915. PDF Supplementary Material Interactive Model

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We learned how remoras attach via friction forces

Beckert et al. 2015. Remora fish suction pad attachment is enhanced by spinule friction. Journal of Experimental Biology 218(22):3551-3558. PDF

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