HOME
TheInfoList



A sailfish is a fish of the genus ''Istiophorus'' of billfish living in colder areas of all
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by con ...
's seas, and holds the record for the fastest speed of any of Earth's marine animals. They are predominantly blue to gray in colour and have a characteristic
dorsal fin A dorsal fin is a fin located on the back of most marine and freshwater vertebrates within various taxa of the animal kingdom. Many species of animals possessing dorsal fins are not particularly closely related to each other, though through c ...
known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins. They are, therefore, described as billfish in sport-fishing circles.


Species

Two sailfish species have been recognized.McGrouther, M. (2013).
Sailfish, Istiophorus platypterus.
' Australian Museum. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
No differences have been found in
mtDNA Electron microscopy reveals mitochondrial DNA in discrete foci. Bars: 200 nm. (A) Cytoplasmic section after immunogold labelling with anti-DNA; gold particles marking mtDNA are found near the mitochondrial membrane (black dots in upper right). ...
, morphometrics or meristics between the two supposed species and most authorities now only recognize a single species, (''Istiophorus platypterus''), found in warmer oceans around the world.Gardieff, S:
Sailfish.
' Florida Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
FishBase continues to recognize two species: * Atlantic sailfish (''I. albicans''). * Indo-Pacific sailfish (''I. platypterus'').


Description

By many scientists considered the fastest fish in the ocean, sailfish grow quickly, reaching in length in a single year, and feed on the surface or at middle depths on smaller Pelagic fish, pelagic forage fish and squid. Sailfish were previously estimated to reach maximum swimming speeds of , but research published in 2015 and 2016 indicate sailfish do not exceed speeds between 10–15 m/s. During predator–prey interactions, sailfish reached burst speeds of and did not surpass .Marras S, Noda T, Steffensen JF, Svendsen MBS, Krause J, Wilson ADM, Kurvers RHJM, Herbert-Read J & Domenic P 2015
"Not so fast: swimming behavior of sailfish during predator–prey interactions using high-speed video and accelerometry"
''Integrative and Comparative Biology'' 55: 718-727.
Svendsen MBS, Domenici P, Marras S, Krause J, Boswell KM, Rodriguez-Pinto I, Wilson ADM, Kurvers RHJM, Viblanc PE, Finger JS & Steffensen JF (2016
"Maximum swimming speeds of sailfish and other large marine predatory fish species based on muscle contraction time: A myth revisited"
''Biology Open'', 5: 1415-1419.
Generally, sailfish do not grow to more than in length and rarely weigh over . Sailfish have been reported to use their bills for hitting schooling fish by tapping (short-range movement) or slashing (horizontal large-range movement) at them.Domenici P, Wilson ADM, Kurvers RHJM, Marras S, Herbert-Read JE, Steffensen JF, Krause S, Viblanc PE, Couillaud P & Krause J (2014
"How sailfish use their bill to capture schooling prey"
''Proceedings of the Royal Society London B'', 281: 20140444.
The sail is normally kept folded down when swimming and raised only when the sailfish attack their prey. The raised sail has been shown to reduce sideways oscillations of the head, which is likely to make the bill less detectable by prey fish. This strategy allows sailfish to put their bills close to fish schools or even into them without being noticed by the prey before hitting them. Sailfish usually attack one at a time, and the small teeth on their bills inflict injuries on their prey fish in terms of scale and tissue removal. Typically, about two prey fish are injured during a sailfish attack, but only 24% of attacks result in capture. As a result, injured fish increase in number over time in a fish school under attack. Given that injured fish are easier to catch, sailfish benefit from the attacks of their Biological specificity#Conspecific, conspecifics but only up to a particular group size.Herbert-Read JE, Romanczuk P, Krause S, Strömbom D, Couillaud P, Domenici P, Kurvers RHJM, Marras S, Steffensen JF, Wilson ADM & Krause J (2016
"Group hunting sailfish alternate their attacks on their grouping prey to facilitate hunting success"
''Proceedings of the Royal Society London B'', 283: 20161671.
A mathematical model showed that sailfish in groups of up to 70 individuals should gain benefits in this way. The underlying mechanism was termed protoco-operation because it does not require any spatial co-ordination of attacks and could be a precursor to more complex forms of group hunting. The bill movement of sailfish during attacks on fish is usually either to the left or to the right side. Identification of individual sailfish based on the shape of their dorsal fins identified individual preferences for hitting to the right or left side. The strength of this side preference was positively correlated with capture success.Kurvers RHJM, Krause S, Viblanc PE, Herbert-Read JE, Zalansky P, Domenici P, Marras S, Steffensen JF, Wilson ADM, Couillaud P & Krause J (2017
"The evolution of lateralisation in group hunting sailfish"
''Current Biology''.
These side-preferences are believed to be a form of behavioural specialization that improves performance. However, a possibility exists that sailfish with strong side preferences could become predictable to their prey because fish could learn after repeated interactions in which direction the predator will hit. Given that individuals with right- and left-sided preferences are about equally frequent in sailfish populations, living in groups possibly offers a way out of this predictability. The larger the sailfish group, the greater the possibility that individuals with right- and left-sided preferences are about equally frequent. Therefore, prey fish should find it hard to predict in which direction the next attack will take place. Taken together, these results suggest a potential novel benefit of group hunting which allows individual predators to specialize in their hunting strategy without becoming predictable to their prey. The injuries that sailfish inflict on their prey appear to reduce their swimming speeds, with injured fish being more frequently found in the back (compared with the front) of the school than uninjured ones. When a sardine school is approached by a sailfish, the sardines usually turn away and flee in the opposite direction. As a result, the sailfish usually attacks sardine schools from behind, putting at risk those fish that are the rear of the school because of their reduced swimming speeds.Krause J and Ruxton GD (2002
''Living in Groups''
Oxford University Press.
Some sources indicate that sailfish are capable of changing colours as a method of confusing prey, displaying emotion, and/or communicating with other sailfish.


Timeline

ImageSize = width:1000px height:auto barincrement:15px PlotArea = left:10px bottom:50px top:10px right:10px Period = from:-65.5 till:10 TimeAxis = orientation:horizontal ScaleMajor = unit:year increment:5 start:-65.5 ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:1 start:-65.5 TimeAxis = orientation:hor AlignBars = justify Colors = #legends id:CAR value:claret id:ANK value:rgb(0.4,0.3,0.196) id:HER value:teal id:HAD value:green id:OMN value:blue id:purple value:purple id:white value:white id:cenozoic value:rgb(0.54,0.54,0.258) id:paleogene value:rgb(0.99,0.6,0.32) id:paleocene value:rgb(0.99,0.65,0.37) id:eocene value:rgb(0.99,0.71,0.42) id:oligocene value:rgb(0.99,0.75,0.48) id:neogene value:rgb(0.999999,0.9,0.1) id:miocene value:rgb(0.999999,0.999999,0) id:pliocene value:rgb(0.97,0.98,0.68) id:quaternary value:rgb(0.98,0.98,0.5) id:pleistocene value:rgb(0.999999,0.95,0.68) id:holocene value:rgb(0.999,0.95,0.88) BarData= bar:eratop bar:space bar:periodtop bar:space bar:NAM1 bar:NAM2 bar:NAM3 bar:NAM4 bar:space bar:period bar:space bar:era PlotData= align:center textcolor:black fontsize:M mark:(line,black) width:25 shift:(7,-4) bar:periodtop from: -65.5 till: -55.8 color:paleocene text:Paleocene from: -55.8 till: -33.9 color:eocene text:Eocene from: -33.9 till: -23.03 color:oligocene text:Oligocene from: -23.03 till: -5.332 color:miocene text:Miocene from: -5.332 till: -2.588 color:pliocene text:Plio. from: -2.588 till: -0.0117 color:pleistocene text:Pleist. from: -0.0117 till: 0 color:holocene text:Holocene, H. bar:eratop from: -65.5 till: -23.03 color:paleogene text:Paleogene from: -23.03 till: -2.588 color:neogene text:Neogene from: -2.588 till: 0 color:quaternary text:Quaternary, Q. PlotData= align:left fontsize:M mark:(line,white) width:5 anchor:till align:left color:eocene bar:NAM1 from: -55.8 till: 0 text: Pseudohistiophorus color:miocene bar:NAM2 from: -23.03 till: 0 text: Tetrapterus color:miocene bar:NAM3 from: -15.97 till: 0 text: Istiophorus color:miocene bar:NAM4 from: -11.608 till: 0 text: Makaira PlotData= align:center textcolor:black fontsize:M mark:(line,black) width:25 bar:period from: -65.5 till: -55.8 color:paleocene text:Paleocene from: -55.8 till: -33.9 color:eocene text:Eocene from: -33.9 till: -23.03 color:oligocene text:Oligocene from: -23.03 till: -5.332 color:miocene text:Miocene from: -5.332 till: -2.588 color:pliocene text:Plio. from: -2.588 till: -0.0117 color:pleistocene text:Pleist. from: -0.0117 till: 0 color:holocene text:Holocene, H. bar:era from: -65.5 till: -23.03 color:paleogene text:Paleogene from: -23.03 till: -2.588 color:neogene text:Neogene from: -2.588 till: 0 color:quaternary text:Quaternary, Q.


References

* Schultz, Ken (2003
''Ken Schultz's Field Guide to Saltwater Fish''
pp. 162–163, John Wiley & Sons. .


External links

''National Geographic'
story on sailfish
{{Taxonbar, from=Q127497 Istiophorus Extant Paleogene first appearances