Sailfish Species Stock Video Footage


Sailfish grow quickly, reaching 1.2–1.5 m (3.9–4.9 ft) in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at middle depths on smaller pelagic forage fish and squid. Sailfish were previously estimated to reach maximum swimming speeds of 35 m/s (130 km/h 78 mph), but research published in 2015 and 2016 indicate sailfish do not exceed speeds between 10–15 m/s. During predator–prey interactions, sailfish reached burst speeds of 7 m/s (25 km/h 16 mph) and did not surpass 10 m/s (36 km/h 22 mph). Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than 3 m (9.8 ft) in length and rarely weigh over 90 kg (200 lb). Sailfish have been reported to use their bills for hitting schooling fish by tapping (short-range movement) or slashing (horizontal large-range movement) at them. The sail is normally kept folded down when swimming and raised only when the sailfish attack their prey. The raised sail has been shown to reduce sideways oscillations of the head, which is likely to make the bill less detectable by prey fish. This strategy allows sailfish to put their bills close to fish schools or even into them without being noticed by the prey before hitting them. Sailfish usually attack one at a time, and the small teeth on their bills inflict injuries on their prey fish in terms of scale and tissue removal. Typically, about two prey fish are injured during a sailfish attack, but only 24% of attacks result in capt...

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