Definition: Hydrofoils, or fins, are used to push against the water to create a normal force to provide thrust, propelling the animal through water. The reduction of fin cross-sectional area helps to minimize drag, and therefore increase efficiency. Regardless of size of the animal, at any particular speed, maximum possible lift is proportional to (wing area) x (speed)<sup>2</sup>. Dolphins and whales have large, horizontal caudal hydrofoils, while many fish and sharks have vertical caudal hydrofoils.
Definition: Drag swimmers use a cyclic motion where they push water back in a power stroke, and return their limb forward in the return or recovery stroke. When they push water directly backwards, this moves their body forward, but as they return their limbs to the starting position, they push water forward, which will thus pull them back to some degree, and so opposes the direction that the body is heading. This opposing force is called drag. The return-stroke drag causes drag swimmers to employ different strategies than lift swimmers. Reducing drag on the return stroke is essential for optimizing efficiency.