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Also known as the broadbill, the swordfish is highly elusive, migratory, and without a doubt the most badass predatory fish in the ocean. We’ve strung together seven facts that are seriously interesting.
1.) Bring On The Heat
Swordfish are ectothermic animals, which means they are reliant on external heating methods when it comes to controlling their internal body temperature. However, these animals have special organs right next to their eyes for warming both their eyes and brains. The ability to heat their eyes improves the quality of their vision and therefore it also increases their ability to hunt.
2.) En Garde
If you think about it this fact makes perfect sense. Swordfish actually slash at their prey rather than stab at them with their sword shaped bill. This method allows the predatory fish to injure their prey and also slow it down so it’s easier to catch.
3.) One Is The Loneliest Number
Swordfish do not swim in schools and can often be found traveling alone. Sometimes you can see these creatures basking at the surface or even breaching the water in a powerful jump.
4.) No Predators, No Problem
Full grown swordfish, typically 4-5 years old, have very few natural predators. Juvenile swordfish are targeted by shortfin makos or killer whales, but they’re a really intimidating prey. Some makos have been found with a broken sword in their heads.
5.) Fast And Furious
Swordfish, next to the Marlin, are one of the fastest and most powerful fish in the ocean. When someone actually hooks one of these sport fish, they’ve been known to dive so fast and so furiously that they run their swords into the ocean ground. Ouch.
6.) Woah Mama
Externalization of fertilization…what does that even mean? The female swordfish, who is actually much larger than her male counterpart, ejects her eggs into the water, which are then fertilized by a flow of sperm from the male.
7.) One Fish, Two Fish, Red List, Swordfish
In 1998 the US Natural Resources Defense Council released a communications plan to create awareness around the overfishing of this truly magnificent trophy. The campaign had a wildly successful slogan, “Give the Swordfish a Break”. It was so successful that 750 American Chef’s removed swordfish from their menus. Since then the animal has been red listed as a ‘Species of Least Concern’ by the ICUN.