Modern Fish Shapes Are the Best to Evolve Yet

They represent the optimal combination of speed and efficiency

By on March 28th, 2012 14:30 GMT

Over hundreds of millions of years fish have evolved to their current shape in order to achieve an enviable balance between speed, efficiency and energy conservation, camouflage, reduced drag and so on.

A new study conducted on bluefin tuna and river trout included models of these fish in computer simulations, which were then left to “evolve,” just like it happened in nature. Experts were especially interested in learning how bodily features such as pointed snouts and tapered tails appeared.

The models began with a generic-looking fish featuring a series of working muscles. Researchers introduced two conditions for their fish – achieve the highest speed possible while saving as much energy as possible.

In a paper published in the March 27 online issue of the esteemed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, researchers say that their models led do the emergence of fish that had the same shapes seen in nature today. This implies that evolution finally achieved the perfect balance, Science Now reports.

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