Name: Prairie View
How does the flying fish get speed to fly?
The "flying fish", like most fishes, gets its power and speed from its
tail fin (or "caudal fin"), which it moves from side to side with powerful strokes.
These fish don't actually "fly" but rather "glide" through the air; they will swim
very fast near the surface of the water, and if a predator is near, they will reach
speeds of 15-20 mph and then break the surface of the water. They briefly stay at
the surface, using their tail to work up even more speed-beating it in the water up
to 50 times in one second!! They then accelerate to approximately 40 miles per hour,
before rising into the air, gliding on their huge wing-like pectoral fins (what fish
have instead of arms), and escaping their predators. Since it is much easier to move
through the air than it is through the water, (there is less resistance in air),
the flying fish launch themselves from the water like rockets, leaving their predators
Tom F Ihde
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Update: June 2012