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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 ocean's 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's 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.
Fish #99 Mediterranean Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus ~ Raquela Task
Watch and listen on Youtube
Prepare to have you're mind blown,
It all started in the twilight zone,
When a fish self propelled out the water,
Today's not the day that I'm gonna get slaughtered.
Wings like fin, he blasts through the wind,
160 feet in the air, you better beware,
43 miles per hour,
I'm not joking he's got some kind of power.
It's a flying fish
A fucking flying fish
It's the coolest fish
in the Mediterranean sea,
Hmm badabaa badabaa Dee D.
The stories not over yet,
He's been captured in a net,
Blood gushing everywhere,
The smell of death fills the air.
There are 100 different types of sushi,
I'd never found anything as juicy
As the flying fish sushi, known as tobiko
Who cares if fishing them is ruining our eco,
8 million tons of plastic in the ocean
Fishing boats making loads of commotion,
19% of coral reefs are dying,
It's not too late to change, we can start trying.
Fish #99 Mediterranean Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus ~ Evelyn Müller
Acrylic, watercolour and Indian ink
The water is whirled around as the hunters strike. Silver and blue shimmering fish shoot by through bubbles and chaos. The hunters are fast, the hunters are deadly. And their prey desperately tries to escape. The predators of the sea are close and the only chance of surviving is to go where they can't follow. And so the hunted go up, higher and higher, towards the sparkling light of the surface, and with one last thrust they break through. But instead of falling back into the deadly dark ocean, they fly. Hoping for a good breeze to take them away, more and more silver-blue fish jump into the air. Yet, they can't glide forever. And they are not alone, they are not safe. High above, the hunters of the air have been waiting for this moment. They strike when their prey enters their element. Again the only chance of surviving is to go where the hunters can't follow - and fall. It is a dance between water and air, between flying and falling, between two devils, where one mistake means death and one well timed manoeuvre means life.
These blue and silver coloured fish are called "Mediterranean Flyingfish". They live nearshore in the Northeast and Center of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Black Sea and live on zooplankton. They are usually about 15cm long. Their predators are various fish from the Scombridae family and several maritime birds (and humans can eat them too). Technically they are not flying, but gliding, and can cover a distance of up to 200m and stay in the air for about 10 seconds. These beautiful fish, which are not limited to the water and have this amazing technique to escape their predators have always fascinated me. They may not be endangered now (listed as Least Concern), but climate change and pollution of the seas might change that. As an artist I absolutely love the idea of helping to preserve our earth by conveying its wonders through my art and really enjoyed working on my fish.
Fish #99 Mediterranean Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus ~ Melanie Ford
Soft pastels and pastel pencils 29 x 42 cm
Cheilopogon heterurus, otherwise know as the Mediterranean flying fish, are unique as they are fish with the ability to fly. They are a pelagic coastal species, common length being 15cms but some males grow up to 40cms in length. Iridescent blue and silver grey in colour they truly are beautiful fish, and there are over 60 different species world wide. Although they are currently not commercially exploited, there are many dangers from other predators, such as the Dorado fish and frigate birds. It is thought the fish evolved with the ability to fly to escape from predators. It takes great effort for the fish to take to the skies. They use thrust from their elongated tails to make them airborne and with a good wind can glide hundreds of meters. To keep them elevated they hit the waters surface with their tails. Spawning takes place in Italian waters. In the vast oceans it's hard to protect their young, so they look for a palm frond leaf or something similar to lay their eggs on. The male fertilises the eggs once the female has layed them on the palm frond. Once one fish spawns it attracts hundreds of other fish to lay there too and eventually the palm frond sinks to the ocean floor with the weight. There days later the young will hatch.
Biography: Melanie Ford was born in 1969 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. She's had a passion for art from a very young age, copying cartoons and drawing grandad in his chair. Naturally, after leaving school Melanie went to art school at North Warwickshire and Hinckey college. Here she gained valuable knowledge and a great footing to develop her own artistic style. Qualifications she gained are , A level Art, Btec National Diploma in Art and Design, HND Graphic communication and PCET3 in Teaching.
She has learnt many techniques herself through practice and experimentation.
Melanie specialises in pastels but also works with watercolour, acrylic, pencil and fineliner pen. Her inspiration comes from the natural world around us and lifes experiences. She has a great concern about environmental issues, the depletion and extinction of animals, insects, ocean life, pollution, destruction of forests and eco systems. Her work reflects this and she has created series of works based on endangered animals, wild life , coastal scenes and life, to name a few. She has won awards and trophies for her artwork and has exhibited in localised venues and pop up galleries. She's currently exhibiting a number of sea themed artworks at the Pickled Crab restaurant in Warwick.
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