Flyingfishes are oceanic species often seen skittering near boats. They leave the water primarily to escape from larger fish such as tunas and mackerel which feed on them. The flying fish does not actually fly. It taxis along the surface of the water vibrating its tail, then it uses the wing-like fins to glide upward and skim across the surface, dropping down when its momentum is exhausted. Often, it takes to the air a second or third time without re-entering the water. Some species have the two enlarged pectoral fins, others have both pectoral and pelvic fins developed like wings for flight. The former are known as two-winged and the latter four-winged flyingfishes. It is estimated that the longest flight may be as far as 660 ft (200 m) and if they come flying out of a big wave, maybe even further. Flying away, however, may not always be the best escape from predators. Sometimes they may be eaten by savvy, natural fliers – birds.
- Flying fish fossil discovery (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Flying Fish Evolved to Escape Prehistoric Predators (livescience.com)
- The world’s oldest flying fish took to the air 80million years before birds appeared in the skies (dailymail.co.uk)