Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday
Photo by Michael Patrick O'Neil
Flying Fish are unique in that they can reach the height of 4 feet in the air, and glide a distance of 655 feet before returning back to the water. They are usually 7 to 12 inches long with the upper side of the body being bluish-grey and their belly grayish-silver. The flying fish has forked tail with the lower piece of the tail longer than upper piece. Pectoral fins of flying fish can be spread into wing-like shape. Flying fish are shaped like a torpedo. Their fins are closed when they swim to ensure faster movement through the water. Before it emerges above the water, flying fish accelerate toward the surface of the water with a speed of 37 miles per hour. When the required speed is accomplished, flying fish jump out of the water and spreads its wings. Flying fish can travel distances of 1.312 feet without rest. This is important because it ensures quick escape from predators. Main predators of the flying fish are marlin, tuna, swordfish, mackerel and humans.
Flying fish are very sensitive and easily attracted by the light, but despite this, flying fish hunts mainly during the night. They eat plankton, bacteria and other tiny marine creatures. Flying fish live in large groups and their number can exceed million individuals during the mating season. Females deposit large number of eggs near the surface of the water. Eggs are usually attached to the floating debris. Young flying fish have whiskers near the mouths, and they look like the underwater plants. This appearance ensures survival during the first few days of life, when the youngsters are the most vulnerable. The average lifespan of flying fish is around 5 years in the wild.