Author: Bullbuster Team
The Gladiator Of The Sea
Xiphias gladius swordfish are the only left members of the family Xiphiidae. The formidable predators of the oceans have a unique heat regulation system as glands close to eyes, allowing them to swim to deeper waters and keep them warm. They are ectotherms. The swordfish is an oily fish.
In some countries, swordfish are also regarded as Broadbills, Espada, Emperado due to their pointed long flat bill.
Body Shape and Body Color:
They have elongated round bodies. The backside of the body is blackish-brown and changes to light brownish to the top. Swordfish undergo morphological changes during growth, affecting their appearance and body color.
Body Weight and Body Size:
Swordfish reach a maximum weight of up to 1,165 pounds and reach an entire length of about 12 ft. Females are longer than males.
Eyes and Teeth:
Swordfish have more giant eyes with glands and brown tissues that help heat exchange as swordfish can’t keep their body temperature higher than the surrounding waters. They possess acute eyesight, and it allows them to prey.
Adult swordfish are toothless or have a small file like fine teeth.
The swordfish gets its name due to swords like bill, and they can quickly slash their prey. The swordfish use the bill as an offensive spear against large fish like sharks. Their mouth is non-protrusible, and their upper jaw is extended to the bill.
Swordfish has two anal and two dorsal fins, and both are large and tappers and the reason for their high-speed swimming. The pelvic fin is absent in swordfish. The anal and dorsal fins are crescent in shape.
The maximum life expectancy is 6 to 9 years.
Their streamlined body makes them the fastest predators of the ocean as they can swim up to the speed of 60m/h.
Habitat of Swordfish:
Swordfish are mesopelagic species. The swordfish's temperature range for survival is 18 to 22°C and primarily present in water at the mid-depth of about 650 meters, but they can also swim deeper in water. Swordfish mainly present near the surface for sun basking, which helps them keep warm.
Swordfish are a warm-water species and spawn in warm waters; however, they migrate to temperate waters in summer for feeding.
Range of Swordfish:
Swordfish are present in temperate, tropical waters of the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans.
Swordfish also inhibit cold waters and temperate waters of the Sea of Marmara, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Sea of Azov.
Feeding of Swordfish:
Swordfish are the most active and fast predators and primarily feed during day time. Swordfish mostly feed on squid and other fishes, shrimps, and crustaceans as they move with changing light intensity.
The long bill is moved back and forth, which helps injure the larger prey; however, small prey is swallowed as a whole.
Swordfish diet may contain,
Predators of Swordfish:
Humans are the most significant predators of swordfish. Shortfin mako and are also the predators of swordfish.
Reproduction of Swordfish:
Females reach their sexual maturity at 4 or 5 years and can produce 1 million to 29 million eggs. Spawning occurs throughout the year in warm waters, and in colder water, it happens in spring. Fertilization is external. The eggs hatch into 4mm long larvae; during the first year, the larvae show phenomenal growth.
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