The flow field past a biologically inspired cylindrical model with a cactus-shaped cross section is investigated in a wind tunnel using particle image velocimetry and surface pressure measurements at a biologically relevant Reynolds number of ∼ 2 × 105. For the cactus model, the mean streamwise flow heals faster in its immediate wake, the wake turbulent velocity level is lower, and the surface static pressure has better recovery compared to the circular cylinder model.

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