Life of Sea | Atlantic Sailfish (Istiophorus albicans) | The Atlantic sailfish is one of the smaller members of the Family Istiophoridae. Atlantic sailfish habitat varies depending on water temperature and wind in some cases. On the northern and southern extremes of their distribution, Atlantic sailfish only appear during the warmer months. These seasonal changes in distribution can be linked to prey migrations. Usually found in the warmer, upper layers above the thermocline outside, the species often migrates into near-shore waters, prefer temperatures between 21 ° to 28 ° C, but is also capable of descending into rather deep water.
Genus: Istiophorus, Lacépède, 1801
Species: I. albicans
The first of these two fish dorsal fins of Atlantic sailfish are very long and long, running most of the length of their bodies, the 20th ray the longest. Their first anal fin is set far back on their bodies and their second dorsal and anal fins are short and hollow, roughly mirror each other in size and shape. Their chest and pelvic fins are long, with their ventral fins nearly reaching the origin of their first anal fin. Their pelvic fins have one spine and multiple soft rays fused together. A pair of grooves along the ventral (under) side of their body where their ventral fins can be pressed. Their tail (caudal) has a double keel and caudal notches on the upper and lower surfaces. Their lateral line is clearly visible.
Body color varies, depending on the level of excitement of the fish, but generally their body is dark blue dorsal (top) and white with brown spots ventrally (see below). About 20 bars, each consisting of many light blue dots, are present on each of their sides. Their fins are all blackish blue, except on the basis of their anal fins, which is white. Females are generally larger than males. Distinguishing features include a bill-shaped upper jaw that is circular in cross section and about twice the length of their lower jaw.
Atlantic sailfish prey mainly on small pelagic fish, particularly mackerel, tuna, jacks, garfish halfbeaks and cephalopods such as squid eats well and octopus. Some feeding occurs on the surface but also in pelagic along reef edges, or along the seabed. This fish always a favorite among professional fisherman. It still mystery for marine biology experts. The movement of the fish is very fast. However, recent research has shown that these fish are really fast. Not believe it, 36 hours after spawning, the eggs hatch immediately. Not only that, their bodies grow very fast, about 6 meters per year.
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