Sailfish are comprised of two different species of fish from
the genus Istiophorus. They live in the warm areas of the
oceans all around the earth. They are a gray blue in color
and have an extremely prominent erect dorsal fin that is
called a sail and extends the entire length of the top of
the fish's back.
The Sailfish is also known for its long bill that looks like
The two species of Sailfish:
- Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans).
- Indo-Pacific sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus).
The Sailfish grows quickly and can reach up to five feet
(one and one half meters) long in just one year. They are a
carnivorous fish and eat smaller pelagic fish and squid on
the surface or at mid-depth.
Sailfish can swim up to sixty-eight miles per hour (one
hundred and nine kilometers per hour) through the ocean. It
is the highest speed that has ever been reliably recorded of
On average a Sailfish will grow to around ten feet (three
meters) in length and not weigh over two hundred pounds
(ninety-one kilograms). Even larger Sailfish than average
have been spotted off the shores of Costa Rica.
Ordinarily the sail on a Sailfish is folded down to the side
when it swims. It only raises the sail when it is excited or
threatened. The raised sail makes the Sailfish appear larger
and therefore more threatening to an enemy or predator.
This behavior has also been seen during feeding when a group
of Sailfish herd a school of fish or squid. This may be an
intimidation tactic to get the prey to go where they want.
Sailfish can jump incredibly high out of the water and are
highly prized as trophies by game fishermen. The Sailfish
population is currently stable and isn't threatened or
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