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Flying Fish

August 23, 2013

Deepwater Canyons

By Gabriela Hogue

Steaming towards our first station in Norfolk Canyon we were treated to a fireworks display of flying fish. As the bow cut through the water and spotted dolphins frolicked in the waves of the boat, flying fish began gliding just above the surface of the water in order to get out of the way. They can propel themselves out of the water and use their wing-like fins to glide through the air. Researchers have discovered that they can travel up to 400 m and the longest glide was measured at 45 seconds. A typical flight is about 50 meters. At the end of their glide, they either fold their pectoral fins in order to reenter the ocean or they drop their deeply forked caudal fin (tail) into the water to push against the water for another lift for more gliding.

So, what are flying fish? They are…

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