Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life of Indo-Pacific Sailfish

Life of Sea | Indo-Pacific Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) | Originally, Indo-Pacific sailfish is widely distributed in the tropical and temperate waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. You can find near continental coasts, islands and reefs. Indo-Pacific sailfish is one of the species from genus Istiophorus. It is also known as Bayonet fish. It is dark blue on top, brown-blue laterally, silvery white underbelly; upper jaw elongated in form of spear; first dorsal fin greatly enlarged in the form of a sail, with many black cones, its front squared off, highest at its midpoint; pelvic fins very narrow, reaching almost to the anus; body covered with embedded scales, blunt at end; lateral line curved above pectoral fin, then straight to base of tail. They have a large and sharp bill, that they use for hunting.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Actinopterygii
Order:     Perciformes
Family:     Istiophoridae
Genus:     Istiophorus, Lacépède, 1801
Species:     I. platypterus

Indo-Pacific sailfish is an oceanic species that feeds on schooling fishes such as sardines, anchovies and mackerels.These fish can swim up to 70 miles per hour. They are  hands down the fastest animal in the ocean. Their sail is typically not extended and held to the side. They use the sail while hunting to herd fish, and some scientists think they also use the sail to regulate their body temperature.  

Reproductive behavior of the Indo-Pacific sailfish are concerns the male and female swim in pairs, or several males behind a single woman, just before the spawning place. The female produces huge numbers of eggs, which hatch into tiny larvae, and the development of the sail-like dorsal fin and elongated bill when only five inches long.  

The Indo-Pacific sailfish spawn throughout the year in tropical and subtropical waters, with peak spawning takes place during the summer. Populations in the Pacific to undergo seasonal migrations spawn, very large distances. The Indo-Pacific sailfish are fished by both commercial fishing and sport fishing, and also seen as by catch by commercial tuna. While this species has a high reproductive output, the population is likely influenced by over exploitation.

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