Snakes are anguilliform swimmers. Although the hydrodynamics of anguilliform swimming can be predicted through idealized numerical models, they are yet to be observed in three dimensions.
We used volumetric 3-component velocimetry (V3V) to capture the instantaneous 3D wake structure of freely swimming dice snakes (Natrix tessellata) and sunbeam snake (Xenopeltis unicolor).
These results are a first step towards the understanding of the efficiency of anguilliform swimming and will be compared to results for other species of aquatic snakes that have independently evolved an aquatic life-style. This may help future developments of bio-inspired aquatic systems.