Low drag and swimming efficiency of animals

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.