Flying Fish~


The tropical two-wing flyingfish gets
its common name from the region
where it lives, the fact that it has
greatly enlarged pectoral fins
(“wings”), and its ability to glide long
distances outside of the water to
escape predation. It is one of
approximately 65 species of
flyingfishes, which do not fly
and would perhaps be better called
“gliding fishes” as they cannot change
direction. The two-wing flyingfishes
glide with their enlarged pectoral fins,
while the four-wing flyingfishes also
have enlarged pelvic fins that
contribute to their gliding ability.
Tropical two-wing flyingfish feed on
plankton crustaceans and other small
invertebrates. They have large eyes
and excellent eyesight and can
therefore hunt and eat individual
plankton. This is in stark contrast to
the very large-bodied filter feeders
(like the whale shark or basking shark), which blindly filter huge
volumes of water to obtain
sufficient food. Tropical two-wing
flyingfish are a favorite prey species
of swordfish, common dolphinfish,
tunas, billfishes, and other open
ocean predators. In its attempt to
avoid predation, this flyingfish can
glide for long distances above the
water surface. For a predator that
spends its entire life in the water, the
flyingfish’s ability to glide is akin to
being able to disappear.

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