Flying Fish- A fish that can fly!

                              Flying Fish| Fish that can fly| Marine life| Fish with wings 

Exocoetid Flying fish as the name suggests is the most incredible wonders of nature which can be seen flying over the warm ocean waves which make many amazed as to how a fish can fly. These flying fish actually glide over the ocean waves which may seem to be flying.  


Flying fish 
Image Source-  Google | Image by pexels 

Characteristic and Distribution

Adult flying fish are of varied sizes mostly ranging from 160 to even 500 mm of maximum length. There are almost 40 known species of flying fish. These are broadly divided into two categories – 

  1. Two wingers – These have pectoral fin as the main part of the body that helps in the flight of the fish.
  2. Four wingers- These have both pectoral and pelvic fin that play their role. 

The reason for the flight of the flying fish is its streamlined torpedo-shaped body which helps it to gain speed whereas the unusual large pectoral fin wings help to take the flight above the ocean waves. 


Image Source-  Google | Image by pexels 

The pectoral fins are controlled by the lateral muscles and the medial muscles that extent the wings and furl them. The flight of the flying fish involves gliding by gaining speed under the waves, angling upward breaking the surface water simultaneously beating its tail. 


Image Source-  Google | Image by - Flickr

After gliding and reaching a certain height, it comes near to the surface again where it again flap its tail and glide without returning to water completely. Because of such an incredible ability, flying fishes have been recorded to glide up to distances of 400 meters and can reach up to speeds of 70 km/h.

Predators of flying fish are Marlin, Tuna, Swordfish, and humans too. These generally swim in large schools which is why these are caught by fishermen in large numbers. Flying fish are generally very sensitive and are attracted to light. 


Image Source-  Google | Image by - Pixabay

Flying fish is found mostly in all the oceans of tropical and warm subtropical waters such as the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Off the coast in Chennai, India one can get a glimpse of these flying fish in coastal waters which is a treat to the eyes. 

Flying fish are especially found abundant in the Caribbean Sea. Barbados was also known as “The land of flying fish” before. 

Diet and breeding 

Flying fish are sensitive to light and hunts mainly during the night. These generally eat small organisms such as bacteria. Planktons and other tiny creatures or crustaceans are also been eaten by the school of flying fish. While it is still being studied but researchers suggest that flying tendency is to protect them from predators only and not to find their own prey. 


Image Source-  Google | Image by - commons.wikimedia

As flying fish live in large schools, their number can increase in several million during the mating season. Young males have whiskers in the mouth that are produced from eggs laid by the female on ocean surface which keeps itself attached to floating ocean debris. The average lifespan of flying fish is 5 years in the wild.

Fortunately, even after being hunted in huge numbers by fishermen, these are still surviving and thriving in the wild and their numbers are abundant which prevents them from becoming endangered.

                            Flying Fish| Fish that can fly| Marine life| Fish with wings 


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