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Why Do Fish Fly? The Astonishing Truth About Flying Fish Revealed!

Why Do Fish Fly? The Astonishing Truth About Flying Fish Revealed!-3

Flying fish, members of the Exocoetidae family, are one of nature's most fascinating marine wonders. Known for their unique ability to glide over ocean surfaces, these fish have intrigued scientists and cultural enthusiasts alike. But what exactly is a flying fish, and why is it called that? Let's dive into the world of these oceanic acrobats to uncover their secrets.

Why Do Fish Fly? The Astonishing Truth About Flying Fish Revealed! Tropical flying fish, a temperate marine species that can be seen off both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.


Majestic Gliders of the Sea

Despite what their name suggests, flying fish aren't capable of powered flight like birds. Instead, they exhibit a remarkable ability to glide through the air. They achieve this feat by propelling themselves out of the water at speeds of over 35 miles per hour. Once airborne, their rigid, wing-like pectoral fins enable them to soar for up to 650 feet (200 meters). The process begins with gaining great velocity underwater, followed by an upward angle that breaks the surface, and transforms into a gliding spectacle.

Why Do Fish Fly? The Astonishing Truth About Flying Fish Revealed!-2 A flying fish takes off in the Pacific Ocean.


Physical Attributes and Habitat

Flying fish are small marine creatures, typically reaching a maximum length of about 18 inches (45 cm) and weighing up to 2 pounds (0.9 kg). They thrive in the epipelagic zone of the ocean, a top layer extending to about 200 meters deep. Flying fish are thought to have evolved their remarkable gliding ability to escape predators, of which they have many. Newly hatched flying fish have whiskers near their mouths, which disguise them as plants, thus protecting them from predators. A flying fish lives for an average of five years.

Flying Fish and Conservation

These fish are commercially fished in some places. Flying fish are attracted to light and are relatively easy to catch because of their tendency to leap into small, well-lit boats. There is currently no protection status on these animals since flying fish populations are stable. These unique fishes are flying and thriving!

References: Flying fish | National Wildlife Federation

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