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Wisdom Wednesday 08/05/20

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday

Image of a flying fish by Instagram user @jillma2sh21

Photo by Jill (Instagram user @jillma2sh21)

Flying fish are marine oceanic fishes of the family Exocoetidae. They are about 50 species, and they live worldwide in warm waters. They are noted for their ability to glide. They are all small, with a maximum length of about 45 cm (18 inches), and have winglike, rigid fins and an unevenly forked tail.  From 1900 to the 1930s, flying fish were studied as possible models used to develop airplanes.

There are at least 40 types flying fish and they can reach 37 MPH underwater. They do not fly actively: their fins do not flap. What they do is speed towards the surface and keep on going. To glide upward out of the water, a flying fish moves its tail up to 70 times per second. It then spreads its pectoral fins and tilts them slightly upward to provide lift. When they leave the water they glide, sometimes for a surprising distance. It is generally thought to be an adaptation which helps them escape predators. At the end of a glide, it folds its pectoral fins to re-enter the sea, or drops its tail into the water to push against the water to lift itself for another glide, possibly changing direction. Their feature is their pectoral fins, which are unusually large, and enable the fish to hide and escape from predators by leaping out of the water and flying through air a few feet above the water's surface. Their flights are typically around 50 meters (160 ft). The record holding fish was videoed in flight for 45 seconds!