From a practical standpoint this development is important for roboticists and engineers who want to design vehicles, like search-and-rescue robots or future Mars rovers, that can operate at their best speed on off-road environments.
After all, robots are the future.
Engineers have historically used theories of aero- and hyrdo-dynamics to understand and predict how animals move on solid ground, by measuring lift, drag, and thrust forces.
The models not only describe how birds fly through the air or fish swim in the water, it has also helped designers build better airplanes or swimming robots. Basically any vehicles that are meant to go in fluids, like air and water.