This is the Secret Why Ducks Swim Behind Their Mothers

Ducks usually swim behind its mother and line up neatly. Where’s the parent baby away, the children always followed behind him.

Researchers report a new discovery as to why chicks always swim behind their mothers in the December 10 issue of the Journal of Fluid Mechanics. (Read also; Researchers Find Longevity Secret in Rockfish DNA )

It turns out that the ducklings swim behind their mothers to save energy or effort. They take advantage of the waves split by their mother swimming in front. (Read also; Honey Bees Sound Special Alarms When Attacked By Giant Bees )

Previous research studied how much energy ducks burn while swimming. The study showed that ducklings conserve energy when swimming behind their mothers.

Zhiming Yuan, a naval scientist working at Strathclyde University Glasgow, Scotland, made a computer simulation of the waves that birds generate when swimming. (Read also; Baby Elephant in Aceh Dies After Losing Half of its Trunk )

Yuan and his colleagues calculated that ducklings swimming directly behind their mothers would find it easier to swim. In contrast to swimming alone, the energy required is greater to produce waves.

“This is called wave resistance, and it restrains the movement of the ducklings as they swim. But the wave resistance is reversed for ducks that are in the sweet spot (behind the mother). They feel a push instead of a pull,” said the statement quoted from the sciencenewsforstudents page, Tuesday (16/11/2021).

The ducklings share the waves with their other sibling in tow. So all the ducklings seem to get a free ride from the waves created by their mother. However, if it is too late to swim to follow its mother, it will be far behind because it missed a ride.

(Web)

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