Swordfish are migratory fishes from the billfish category, which are known for their long, flat, and pointed bills. Also known as broadbills, these predatory fishes are one of the most fascinating sea creatures to exist.
The world of fish is a really captivating one! Therefore, we bring you the most interesting swordfish facts for kids that are definitely amusing.
11 Interesting & Fun Facts about Swordfish for Kids That Will Blow Their Mind
Swordfish aren’t your regular fishes in the sea. The name ‘Swordfish’ itself characterizes their sword-like bill. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Let’s dive into the world of Swordfishes to know some enthralling facts about them.
1. Swordfish are ectothermic
Ectothermic animals are those that rely on external methods to control their internal body temperature. Swordfish are these cold-blooded animals who cannot alter their body temperature according to the change in surroundings.
They have to heavily depend on their surroundings to keep their bodies warm in order to regulate their body temperature.
2. Swordfish have special heating organs
Contrary to being cold-blooded, Swordfish have really special organs near their eyes to keep their eyes and brains warm. These organs lie just next to their tennis-ball-sized eyes and are capable of increasing the temperature by 10-15 degrees Celsius than the surroundings.
This improves the vision in Swordfish and helps them at better hunting.
3. Swordfish do not stab their prey
Swordfishes are carnivores. Since these predatory fishes have long sword-like bills, they slash their prey instead of trying to stab them. This action work to their benefit as it slows down the prey and injures them enough for the swordfish to have a hearty meal.
4. These broadbills do not believe in schooling
These fishes act like kings of the water. They do not flock together in groups, instead, they often travel alone. Even if they have another swordfish in the vicinity, they are separated by a distance of 10 meters at the maximum.
Swordfish are loners and can be found doing activities on their own at the surface of the water.
5. Swordfishes are super-fast and very powerful
Clubbed with Marlin, Swordfish is one of the fastest fishes in the water. They are also a powerful lot. When they get hooked by the fishers, they dive so furiously in the water that sometimes, their bills have been found stuck on the ocean beds. These fishes are good at both attacking and defending.
6. Very few fishes predate on Swordfish
Not many fishes can beat the immense speed and strength of the Swordfishes. Apart from large sharks, killer whales, and obviously humans, not many fishes are able to cause damage to them.
Even if they prey on swordfish, chances are that they will be injured as well. Some makos have been found with broken bills stabbed into their heads.
7. They are a species of least concern
In 1998, a campaign was launched by the US to slow down and regulate the fishing of such a terrific species. Fortunately, the campaign worked well, and the problem of overfishing was solved. At present, this species has been listed as of the ‘Least Concern’ by the IUCN Red List.
8. Female swordfish are larger than the males
One of the amusing facts about the species is that the female counterparts are much larger than their male counterparts. The average swordfish is about 3 meters in length (10 feet).
However, the maximum reported length of a swordfish has been 4.5 meters i.e., 14 feet and 11 inches. They usually weigh around 650 kg or 1430 pounds.
9. Female swordfish lay eggs
The reproduction occurs externally in Swordfishes. The female fishes lay eggs in the water after which, the male counterparts fertilize them. Therefore, these are oviparous creatures.
The astonishing fact is that a female swordfish can lay anywhere from 1 million to 30 million eggs at once.
10. Swordfishes have a rapid growth
Compared to their small sizes, not more than a few millimeters as a larva, they grow into immense-looking creatures. As soon as they are hatched, a bill can be seen on their body.
They continue to grow rapidly and reach their long and heavy body form from a larva that weighs just a few hundredths of grams.
11. They have their meals usually at nights
Swordfishes can be called night-owls, except for the fact that they are fishes. They rise to the surface of waters during the nights in search of their prey which usually involves smaller fishes.
These fishes can also feed on demersal fish, squid, and crustaceans. Their diet includes a large variety of fish.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What does a swordfish eat?
Swordfish feed on pelagic fishes. Their wide range of diets includes mackerel, barracudas, silver hake, rockfish, herring, and lanternfishes. These fishes can also feed on demersal fish, squid, and crustaceans. They swallow their smaller prey while they slash the larger ones.
Q. Why do swordfish have long noses?
The long noses of swordfish or bills, are their features that help them to hunt better. These fishes can slash their prey and injure them to feed on them. In other cases, they can also use it to protect themselves against larger fish.
Q. Do swordfish have teeth?
As a swordfish continues to grow, it loses its teeth. By the time they reach adulthood, swordfishes are left with no teeth and scales. It depends completely on its long sword-like bill for its carnivorous tendencies.
Q. Do swordfish have bones?
Swordfish do not have bones. This is the reason why they are loved for a hearty meal, even by kids, as they lack bones. However, their skeletal system consists of an upper jawbone which provides strength to the bill.
Q. Can a swordfish kill a shark?
Swordfish have bills that are very helpful in attacking other fishes, even the bigger and dangerous ones. There have been incidents where sharks have been found with bills embedded in their heads in dying conditions. This shows that swordfish are capable of killing sharks.
Q. How fast does a swordfish swim?
Swordfish is one the fastest moving fishes in the water. They can swim at a speed of up to 97 km/h or 60 mph. They are really fast and extremely powerful.
Q. How deep can a swordfish swim?
Swordfish can swim up to 2100 feet or 650 m deep inside the water. They can swim to the level where the water temperature is just above freezing point. However, they are often seen at the surface looking for their prey.
Q. Do swordfish eat their babies?
Many fishes eat their own babies. The same is assumed for the Swordfish. There are a lot of reasons why fishes eat their babies that include nutrition, hunger, failing at recognition, etc.
These swordfish facts for kids provide in-depth knowledge about the regular lives of swordfish. These fishes have a world on their own which is not known to many. Swordfish are definitely one of a kind.