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What are flying fish and how do flying fish fly ?




Flyingfish is the common name of some 50 species of all in the

family Exocoetidae . Gliding is made possible by the enlargement

of the pectoral fin in the two-winged flyingfish and by both paired

fins in the four wing flyingfish.  Flight is made in order to escape

enemies and any large body will activate this response, including

nearby ships. The wings are held rigid, making its flight more akin

to an airplane than a bird. The propulsive thrust is supplied by

powerful strokes from the tail, the lower lobe which is extended.

This movement makes the fish tremble and the pectorals

alternately touch the water in a manner which falsely suggest

they are moving.They skim the water and the tail remains

submerged . Flyingfish are able to reach speeds of up to forty

miles per hour . Flyingfish travel in schools and are abundant in

warm seas .In May 2008, a Japanese television crew (NHK) filmed

a flying fish  off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan. The fish

spent 45 seconds in flight.The previous record was 42 seconds.



 The world of the flying fish



 Flying fish documentary



 Amazing flying fish!



 Close up of flying fish in the water


flying fish drawing

drawing of a flyingfish from

Journal of a Voyage to New South Wales


How far can a flying fish fly ?


 Ordinarily,' flight' is made to escape predators and stimulated by

any large body, such as a ship .The trust is provided by the tail,

with the tail in the water while the fish glides . Flyingfish don't

actually fly, they flap their tail-fin at the surface and are able to

glide over the water .The glide may last 30 seconds and cover 300

yards . Flying fish serve as an important food sourcefor tuna and

marlin.The record, recorded by a Japanese tv crew, is 45 seconds

.Flying fish can grow to 15-18 in length, but most are about 10

inches long.


How long do flying fish live ?




Most species of Flying fish only live a year, some live 3 to 4 years

.The largest flying fish in American waters is the California

flyingfish (Cypselurus californicus) which can grow to 1 and a half

foot in length . The common Atlantic flyingfish (Cypselurus

 heterurus) averages about 10 inches in length .


How did flying fish evolve ?


The oldest known fossil of a flying or gliding fish, Potanichthys

xingyiensis, dates back to the Middle Triassic, 235–242 million

years ago. However, this fossil is not related to modern flying

fish, which evolved independently about 66 million years ago.


Flying fish firsthad to evolved skulls that helped them live in

surface waters. Then, they evolved tails powerful enough to

 launch them from the water. Then, t winglike fins were

evolved that helped them glide. Lastly t body scales were

discarded to make them more aerodynamic.


What do Flying Fish eat ?


flying fish food


Flying fish feed mainly on plankton - any drifting organisms such

animals, plants, archaea, or bacteria) that inhabit the pelagic

zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. Plankton are

defined by their ecological niche rather than their phylogenetic or

taxonomic classification. They provide a crucial source of food to

larger organisms such as fish and seals .


What are the predators of the flying fish ?


flying fish predators



The predators of flying fish are dolphins, tuna, marlin, birds,

squids and porpoises. Fisherman use flying fish lures in order to

catch tuna and marlin.


Flying fish are found in all of the major oceans, particularly in the

warm tropical and subtropical waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and

Indian oceans. In Japanese cuisine, flying fish roe (Tobiko), often

from Cheilopogon agoo (Japanese flying fish), is used to make

some types of sushi.The flying fish color is blue or greenish above

and silver below .


 flying fish coin

flying fish on the one dollar

coin of Barbados


flying fish coin

flying fish on a coin of Tuvalu


Do people eat flying fish ?


Flying fish are commercially fished in Japan, Vietnam and

Barbados by the method of gillnetting and in Indonesia and

India by dipnetting. In the Solomon Islands they are caught while

flying, using nets held from outrigger canoes. They are attracted

to the light of torches. Fishing is done only when there is no

moonlight. Historically the country of Barbados was nicknamed as

"The land of the Flying fish." Today it remains the official national

fish for the country.The once abundant flying fish migrated

between the warm coral-filled Atlantic Ocean surrounding the

island of Barbados and the plankton-rich outflows of the Orinoco

River in Venezuela.


flying fish postcard

w\Watching flying fish at night on Catalina Island in the 1940s

You can still take nightime flying fish boat tours on Catalina

Island more info here



flying fish postcard


Just after the completion of the Deep Water Harbor in Bridgetown

, Barbados saw an increase of international ships, linking the

island to the world. As a result the overall health of the coral

reefs surrounding Barbados suffered due to ship-based pollution.

Additionally over-fishing by Barbadians has meant the species of

flying fish have slowly retreated closer to the Orinoco river delta

no longer returning around Barbados in large numbers. Lately,

the fish have started to migrate to Trinidad and Tobago, causing

problems between fisherman of the two island countries .


flying fish in bucket

flying fish are an important food source for tuna and marlins

Flying fish lay their eggs in nests in drifting sargassum seaweed.

The fry are orange colored and resemble the berries of

sargassum. Flying fish eggs have long,sticky filaments which

anchor the eggs to the sargassum . The flyingfish is called an

exocet in French and a volador in Spanish .


old flying fish drawing

a Blackwing flyingfish


flying fish sushi

In Japan, flying fish roe (とびこ) is used to make sushi.




flying fish toy

Mario Brothers

flying fish

plush toy


The Amazing World of Flyingfish

Steve N. G. Howell

This first-of-its-kind book provides a

rare and incomparable look at flying fish .



flying fish




flying fish jewelry

flying fish coins

and jewelry 


flying fish pendant

flying fish



flying fish stamp




Flying fish Links




National Geographic

on flying fish


Flying Fish tour on

Catalina Island


Flying Fish Beer


fish friends









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