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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Atlantic Flyingfish Cheilopogon heterurus

Also known as the Mediterranean flyingfish, this species is distinguished by its very large, winglike pectoral and pelvic fins. If a predator, such as a tuna, attacks from below, the Atlantic flyingfish will beat its powerful forked tail rapidly, spread its “wings” at the last moment, and lift clear of the surface away from danger. The fish continues to beat its tail even in mid-flight and it can remain airborne for over 330 ft (100 m). The Atlantic flyingfish is edible, but is not commercially exploited.

Atlantic Flyingfish habitat mapzoom image
Atlantic Flyingfishzoom image
  • Order Beloniformes
  • Length Up to 16 in (40 cm)
  • Weight Not recorded
  • Depth Surface waters
  • Distribution Tropical and warm temperate waters worldwide