The world that we live in is full of pleasant surprises. It witnesses spectacular creations every now and then. One such marvellous creation of Mother Nature is the flying fish. The Flying Fishes belongs to the family of Exocoetidae and perhaps the only marine vertebrae that can fly. Scientists usually state that the flying fish glide through the air in order to evade the underwater predators. It is a survival mechanism. Migration might also be a reason. However, the reason is still unknown. This adaptation is quite unique. Often when the gliding speed becomes weak, they dip the lower lobe of the caudal fin and start to rapidly beat the tail. This process is termed as taxiing. Therefore, it helps them to gain trust for successive flights. They mostly glide in a straight line which enables them to cover the maximum distance, if not for the longest time. These fish can cover a maximum distance of 400 meters for 30 seconds.
There are many reasons that work behind this mechanism of flying. Some of them are:
Physical Structure Of Flying Fishes
These types of fish usually have a forked tail and large pectoral fins. It helps them to easily launch in the air and glide for some time before dropping back into the water. Moreover, the tail has the ability to move at a rapid speed which helps them with a second launch into the air. Then they spread their pectoral fins and glide through the air. After losing the momentum, they enter the water and lower its fins. Usually, the length of the flight is about 150 feet which lasts for around 20 seconds. They are closely related to the species of halfbeaks, needlefish and sauries. Moreover, they can be divided into two categories depending on the configuration of their wings. One is the four-winger and the other is the two-winger or monoplane type.
Flying Fishes Fly To Escape Predators
Many researchers and scientists believe that the flying fish fly mainly to escape the various marine predators like dolphin fishes, marlin, swordfish, mackerel and other larger fish. Moreover, they sustain themselves on foods like plankton. However, it is quite difficult for flying fish to evade predators. Even while gliding through the air there are many fish-eating predatory birds that feed on them. Either way, the chances of survival are feeble. Many fossils are also excavated by scientists which proves that they existed for a long time and underwent this amazing adaptation.
There are different types of flying fishes available. They mostly prefer to live in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. One remarkable type is the Atlantic flying fishes. They are also known as Cypselurus heterurus and live in tropical sides like the Caribbean and Atlantic. Moreover, they are lesser than 25 cm in size and have a black band spreading through the wings. Another type is the Californian flying fish which also happens to be the largest. They can grow up to 0.5m and are extensively consumed by humans. However, there is another type called the swallowing flying fish. They fly shorter distances due to the short wings as the name suggests.