26.1 MB (908.8 KB compressed)
3717 x 2458 pixels
31.5 x 20.8 cm ⏐ 12.4 x 8.2 in (300dpi)
DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DANTE FENOLIO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Spotfin Flyingfish, Cheilopogon furcatus, is found in tropical waters of all major, non-polar oceans. Flying fish can reach heights above the ocean surface of over 1.2 meters and gliding long distances, up to 655 feet (200 meters). To achieve long glides above the ocean's surface, great speed is required. Larval and adult flying fish can be associated with mats of Sargassum Weed, a marine plant (a brown macroalga). Two species float, unattached to the substrate, on the surface: Sargassum natans and S. fluitans. These species are found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and in parts of the Atlantic. The Sargasso Sea was named for the big mats of these plants on its surface. An entire community of wildlife has adapted to life in Sargassum weed including shrimp, crabs, and fish. The weed serves as critically important habitat for a number of larval fish including commercially important species such as billfish, sailfish, Mahi Mahi, and flying.
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