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Fish #99 Mediterranean Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus ~ Sophie-Jane Edwards
Watercolour & fine liner 29 x 19.5 cm
The mediterranean flying fish can be seen leaping out of subtropical waters; it is thought that they do this to escape their many predators. Their standard adult length is 28-30cm and they feed mainly on zooplankton.
The fish gains speed underwater of around 37mph, facing upwards it bats its tail to break the oceans surface and then spreads its wing like fins to glide through the air reaching heights of up to 4ft and distances of 650ft, it can then hit its tail off the ocean surface to hold momentum for longer distances.
Fish #99 Mediterranean Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus ~ Molly Davies
Acrylics and ink 30 x 40 cm
My first interest in this fish was sparked by a BBC nature documentary, from my childhood I have been drawn to the sea and coast. In his early years my father worked for the Ministry of Fisheries in relation to the North Sea, and this connection brought the project to my attention.
Mediterranean flying fish grow to a maximum length of 40cm, they have been observed in oceans worldwide. They spawn during summer in the eastern Atlantic. They are preyed on by Scombridea, finfish and bony fish. They feed on zooplankton. Flying fish are not commercially exploited but it has been noted they are very tasty; they have been used in Japanese cuisine. The biggest threat to their existence is the pollution in the seas.
Flying fish actually glide rather than truly fly. They launch themselves into the air by beating the tail very fast and spreading their pectoral fins to use as wings. The extraordinary flying fish uses its fins and tail to glide up to 100 metres; this may be used as a means to escape danger. There are 52 different species of flying fish which are found in the Indian, Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (BBC, Nature, and Wildlife). The BBC nature news have documented evidence of flying fish fossils as far reaching as China.
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