Flying fish can be seen jumping out of the warm ocean waters worldwide. Their streamlined torpedo shape helps them gather enough underwater speed to break the surface and their large pectoral fins shaped wings allow them to soar in air.

Flying fish are believed to have evolved their extraordinary ability to glide in order to escape predators. Common predators include mackerel, tuna, swordfish, marlin, and other larger fish. For sustenance flying fish eat a variety of food including plankton.

There are about 40 known species of flying fish. Beyond their useful pectoral fins they have uneven forked tails with a longer upper lobe. Many species have enlarged pelvic fins and are known as four-winged flying fish.

The process of taking flight or gliding begins with gaining great speed under water, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) per hour. Angling upward the four-winged flying fish starts to roll by quickly moving its tail it then breaks the surface.

Once on the surface it shakes its tail and glides without fully reentering the water. They can reach heights of more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) and can slide distances of up to 655 feet (200 meters). Flying fish have been recorded covering distances up to 1,312 feet (400 meters).

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