Swordfish facts and information
swordfish facts The swordfish is a large, fast-swimming billfish that can be found in tropical, temperate, and sometimes cold ocean waters around the world. They have large eyes, a rounded body, and a long, flattened bill that looks like a sword. Reaching up to 15 ft (4.5 m) long, these fish have few predators.
They spend their time swimming in the open ocean, often very far from the coast. Swordfish are very popular in commercial and recreational fishing. They are commonly fished by using longline or harpoon gear. Their meat is sold fresh or frozen. In the summer, swordfish often migrate to colder waters to feed.
They are opportunistic feeders that feed on a variety of fish and invertebrates like squid. Adults have no teeth or scales. They can slash their bills back and forth to stun or injure prey before swallowing them. Swordfish are very fast-growing. They become reproductively mature at five to six years of age. Spawning occurs year-round in warmer areas and in the spring and summer in colder areas. Females release eggs that are fertilized externally.
The eggs are buoyant and float at the surface. Hatched larvae remain near the surface and feed on zooplankton. Juveniles have scales that are lost by adulthood. Swordfish has a high tolerance for fluctuations in water temperature. They are able to selectively warm their eyes and brain by using a specially adapted hearing organ in the muscle next to their eyes.
This ability allows them to see better and process information faster in colder waters. They are commonly found at depths approaching 2000 ft (550 m) deep, but they are capable of traveling much deeper. Swordfish are thought to only live 9 to 15 years.
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