Tail up-and-down or side-to-side?
April 27, 2012 9:21 AM Subscribe
What advantages/disadvantages are there to swimming as fish do versus swimming as cetaceans do?
posted by glhaynes to Pets & Animals (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Fish propel themselves forward primarily with a side-to-side motion of their tails. Whales, dolphins, and porpoises, having evolved from land-dwelling mammals, have hips that are suited to up-and-down motion instead, and, thus, primarily propel themselves that way.
Are there any advantages/disadvantage of one way versus the other? (Bonus: are there any fish that swing their tail more like a cetacean?)