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Journal of Marine Biology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 470715, 9 pages
Research Article

Shape of Aquatic Animals and Their Swimming Efficiency

1Institute of Hydromechanics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Zhelyabova 8/4, Kyiv 03680, Ukraine
2Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci, 32-20133 Milan, Italy

Received 2 December 2013; Accepted 4 January 2014; Published 25 February 2014

Academic Editor: Jakov Dulčić

Copyright © 2014 I. Nesteruk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The best swimmers have a streamlined shape that ensures an attached flow pattern and a laminar boundary layer at rather large values of the Reynolds number. Simple expressions may be obtained for the volumetric drag coefficient of an ideal body of revolution under laminar unseparated flow conditions together with estimations of a critical value of the Reynolds number. A measure, the capacity-efficiency factor, calculated for different organisms and underwater vehicles, shows that information about animal shapes and locomotion is of utmost biological interest and could be useful to improve robot fish and underwater vehicles as well.