Energy savings in sea bass swimming in a school: measurements of tail beat frequency and oxygen consumption at different swimming speeds


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Tail beat frequency of sea bass, Dicentrarchus labrax (L.) (23.5 ± 0·5 cm, LT), swimming at the front of a school was significantly higher than when swimming at the rear, for all water velocities tested from 14·8 to 32 cm s−1. The logarithm of oxygen consumption rate, and the tail beat frequency of solitary swimming sea bass (28·8 ± 0·4 cm, LT), were each correlated linearly with swimming speed, and also with one another. The tail beat frequency of individual fish was 9–14% lower when at the rear of a school than when at the front, corresponding to a 9–23% reduction in oxygen consumption rate.