Why can flying fish fly

Flying fish is a large family, which is the general name of the family flying fish of the order ray. There are 6 kinds of flying fish in China, such as bow headed swallow ray and pointed swallow ray.
The flying fish looks very strange and its body is close to a cylinder. Although it does not have the wings that are good at flying like insects or the wings that fight in the sky like birds, they have very developed pectoral fins, which are equivalent to 2 / 3 of their body. They look a bit like bird wings and extend back to the tail. The ventral fin is also relatively large and can be used as an auxiliary glider. Its tail fin is forked, and the scene of rushing forward and looming on the blue sea is very cute.


Why flying fish can fly

Flying fish’s “flying” is actually just a kind of gliding. Scientists used cameras to reveal the secret of flying fish’s “flight”. It was found that flying fish actually took off with its “aircraft” tail, rather than by vibrating its long and wide pectoral fins as people thought in the past.

Before coming out of the water, the flying fish first adjusts the angle under the water and swims quickly. When approaching the sea, it sticks its pectoral and abdominal fins close to both sides of the body. At this time, it is very like a submarine. Then it swings sharply left and right with its powerful tail fin to draw a zigzag water mark, which makes it produce a strong impulse to make the fish suddenly break through the water like an arrow, The takeoff speed exceeded 18 meters per second.
When flying out of the water, the flying fish immediately opened its long and wide pectoral fins and glided at a speed of about 15 meters / second against the wind blowing from the sea. When the wind force is appropriate, flying fish can fly 200 ~ 400 meters in the air 4 ~ 5 meters above the water surface, which is the farthest fish in the world. Some people have measured the best flying record of flying fish in the tropical Atlantic: flying time of 90 seconds, flying altitude of 10.97 meters and flying distance of 1109.5 meters.

When the flying fish returns to the water, if it needs to take off again, it will use the time when its whole body has not yet entered the water, and then beat the waves with its tail, so as to increase the gliding force, make it jump out of the water again and continue the short gliding flight. Obviously, the “wings” of flying fish do not actually flap, but only rely on the driving force of the tail to make a short “flight” in the air. Some people have done such an experiment to cut off the tail fin of flying fish and put it back into the sea. Because it has no developed chest muscles like birds and can’t flap its “wings”, the flying fish with broken tail fin can no longer rise from the air.
Why do flying fish fly

Marine biologists believe that flying fish fly mostly to escape the chase of large fish such as tuna and swordfish, or because ships are frightened when they approach.
The big family of marine fish is not always calm. Flying fish are small and medium-sized fish living in the upper layer of the ocean. They are the prey of fierce fish such as sharks, flower loach, tuna and swordfish. In the long-term survival competition, flying fish have formed a very clever skill to avoid enemies: jumping into the water and flying, which can leave the dangerous sea area temporarily. Therefore, flying fish do not jump out of the water easily. They show this ability only when they are attacked by enemies or stimulated by the vibration sound of ship engines.

But sometimes, flying fish will jump out of the water due to excitement or reproduction, and sometimes flying fish will take off for no reason. Of course, the special “self-defense” method of flying fish is not absolutely reliable. Although flying fish flying at sea escape the attack of enemies in the sea, they often become seabirds waiting for rabbits on the sea, such as the “food in the mouth” of “warship birds”.

In this way, flying fish jump out of the water and drill into the sea. In this way, they can escape the enemy in the sea or in the air. Flying fish have phototaxis. If a lamp is hung on the ship deck at night, groups of flying fish will come looking for light and throw themselves into the net and hit the deck. The meat of flying fish is especially delicious. The meat is fresh and tender. It is a top-grade dish.

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