Undulation Speed Affects Burial Performance in Flatfish
Burial is an understudied behavior among flatfish species. This study aims to understand the role of undulations in flatfish burial. Five species of flatfish were filmed using high speed video cameras to assess the speed of the undulations and determine the amount of sand covering the animal after completing burial. A physical model was also built to test the effect of undulation speed on burial. The results of the physical model suggest that increased speed increases the surface area of sand on the burying object; however this benefit has diminishing returns at high speeds. The live animals suggest that undulations are not the only factor involved in flatfish burial. The posterior portion of the dorsal and anal fins may contribute to burial efficiency in these species.