Nature has solved a lot of design challenges including ones that humans currently face. Biomimicr
y learns from and mimics the strategies found in nature to solve human design challenges. Examples of biomimicry are found in many fields ranging from sustainable architecture inspired by termites to design of the bullet train inspired by king fisher’s beak.
Morphology and flow characterization of Pinniped Vibrissae
Morphology and flow characterization of Pinniped Vibrissae Seals, sea lions, and other carnivorous aquatic animals are equipped with whiskers or “vibrissae” used to detect prey from the wake they leave behind. The vibrissae have undulations along their length that may be responsible for the reduction in drag and vortex that has been observed. In this study, vibrissae of harbor seal, elephant seal, and California sea lion are characterized in terms of their overall geometry and surface roughness using optical microscopes for extended depth of focus imaging. Numerical models with similar undulations are studied using unsteady computational fluid dynamics and compared with flow behind a cylinder of similar scale to the whisker model.