Flying fish flies into record books


A TV crew working off southern Japan has filmed the longest recorded flight by a flying fish.

According to a report from the BBC, which shows the footage on its website, the flying fish was filmed by a film crew from NHK off Yakushima Island and shows the fish completely airborne for 45 seconds.

The longest previously recorded flight was 42 seconds and was recorded by an American researcher in the 1920s.

The footage shows the flying fish gliding alongside a ferry, which was travelling around 20 mph, and periodically using its tail to get airborne again.

Flying fishThe flying fish is a member of the family Exocoetidae, which spans nine different genera and is found in tropical and subtropical waters, mainly in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.

Most have enormous pectoral fins which are used to glide through the air via propulsion from their powerful tails.

The fish typically also have enlarged eyes, which is believed to help them see better when gliding through the air.

The fish, which reach around 30-40cm in length, swim rapidly near the water surface with their enormous fins tucked in at the sides of their bodies.

When they want to fly, they leap upwards and spread their fins open. They then use their powerful tails, which have a larger lower lobe, as a paddle to propel themselves upwards from where they can glide long distances.

Glides are typically 30-50m but can sometimes last much longer, particularly when the fish repeatedly use tail thrusts to keep them airborne.

The fish typically glide to escape aquatic predators.