The sailfish is the fastest fish in the world capable of swimming in bursts of 68 mph (110 kph). Sailfish is one of the smaller members of the billfish species.
What is Billfish?
A billfish is a group of large predatory fish that are characterized by huge, prominent bills (elongated nasal bones) or rostrums that they used to catch prey. The billfish species include swordfish, spearfish, sailfish, and marlins.
They (billfish) are apex predators and feed on smaller fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods such as squid. They can be found in all oceans, though they are predominantly found in tropical and subtropical waters (warmer waters of the Atlantic and Pacific). Billfish live or grow at or near the surface of the ocean and are often found in groups, feeding on smaller fish, crustaceans, and cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish). They are rarely seen in shallow waters and spend most of their time where food sources are abundant.
Billfish can swim to great depths, due to their swimbladders, a gas-filled organ that helps them control their buoyancy. The sac will expand or contract in size due to varying gas pressures, allowing these fish to expend little to no energy to stay stabilized at different water levels.
Among the billfish species, the swordfish has the longest bill relative to its body, accounting for about 1/3 of its total length. Other billfish have shorter, rounder bills.
Billfish catch prey by swimming through dense schools of fish, rapidly swiping their bills back and forth, and then feed on stunned prey. Currently, billfish populations are at risk because of overfishing, both for food and sport.
Learn More About the Fastest Fish in the World – Sailfish
The Sailfish are mainly blue to gray and can grow up to 3.05 meters (10 feet) in length and weigh around 200 pounds (90 kilograms). Sailfish have blue-gray backs and white undersides. The highest speed ever recorded for a fish was from an Indo-Pacific sailfish (68 mph or 110 km/h).
Sailfish (fastest fish in the world) are named after their striking sail-like dorsal fin that extends for nearly the entire length of their silver-blue body. Their upper jaw is far longer than their lower jaw, forming a distinctive bill that acts like a spear.
Sailfish (fastest fish in the world) are fast leapers and often hunt together in groups of two or more. They thrash and disrupt schools of smaller fish such as sardines and anchovies. This movement allows them to catch more prey individually. Their spear-like bill helps in slashing at larger prey fish, which stuns them into submission. When working in groups, Sailfish (fastest fish in the world) engage their massive dorsal fins, creating a fence around their prey to prevent their victims from escaping their hold. They feed primarily on small bony fish and cephalopods, which include squids, cuttlefish, and octopuses.
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“So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”