Today's animal is the flying fish. This is a spectacular creature that is a marvel to see. While they do not actually fly, they can swish themselves out of the water while going more than 35 miles an hour.
- There are about 40 different species of flying fish living in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
- Flying fish are often able to elude their predators because they can fly out of the water, while the fish in pursuit cannot.
- While flying fish do not actually fly, they have been known to move on top of the water for up to 45 seconds at a time. This is more than the Wright Brothers were able to do on their first attempt at flying.
- While jumping out of the water allows flying fish to get away from tuna and swordfish predators, the strategy does not work against birds. Birds are often lying in wait in areas where flying fish are known to congregate.
- They have a lifespan of 5 years.
- Flying fish have a special tail fin. This is what enables them to glide out of the water for so long. It is also what gives them the extra burst of energy that they need to literally propel themselves out of the water.
- Some flying fish species have two “wings,” while others have elongated pelvic fins that become four wings.
- Flying fish are the national symbol of Barbados. If you are ever in this island country, you will find memorabilia of flying fish on just about everything from currency to the coats of arms for the country. Unfortunately, flying fish have been overfished in the area, so you are unlikely to encounter one in the flesh in Barbados.