One of the most curious fish in the marine world is the flying fish, famous for its ability to fly over the oceans for hundreds of meters. Once in the air, they can reach a height of one meter and even exceed it, and plan distances of up to 200 meters at a speed of 16 kilometres per hour.
Flying fish can be seen jumping in the waters of warm seas anywhere in the world. Their streamlined torpedo shape allows them to achieve enough speed underwater to surface, and their large wing-like pectoral fins carry them through the air.
Its meaning belongs to the family of exocetids, a word of Greek origin, which means “to lie outside” in the sense of “sleeping under the stars”, because it is not uncommon for them to be stranded on the decks of ships at get out of the water at night.
Like many marine animals, Flying fish are attracted to light, and sailors take advantage of this with remarkable results. They fill canoes with enough water to keep the fish alive but not enough to propel itself out and fix a light on it as a lure at night. In this way, they catch flying fish by the dozens.
Flying fish are believed to have evolved to acquire this remarkable ability to glide to escape their predators, of which there are many. Their enemies include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish. The subsistence of the flying fish is based on various foods, including plankton.
Taking flight or gliding begins by reaching a high speed underwater, about 60 kilometres per hour. Heading upwards, the flying fish breaks the surface and begins the take-off operation by flicking its tail while still underwater. It then soars in the air, sometimes reaching a height of more than a meter and gliding over a distance of up to 200 meters.
When it is close to the surface again, it can flap its tail and continue flying without returning completely to the water. The flying fish can continue to fly this way, and specimens have been seen that have extended their flight with successive glides, covering distances of up to 400 meters.
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