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Sailfish

Moving through water can be a tricky business.  Unlike our familiar world where we move through air that offers little resistance, the viscosity of water presents a bit more of a challenge.  The vast majority of fish are well adapted with paddle-like fins to row their way through this medium.  Fish can improve their efficiency through water by adopting a streamline shape allowing them to cut through the density of the water.  Equally, this is also useful for maintaining a static position in fast-flowing water.  Further refinement of body shape can allow a fish to become a fast and efficient predator or conversely being able to escape speedy predators.  Such a relationship between the speed of predator and prey has led to an evolutionary arms race meaning that some fish can be equally fast in water as some mammals are on land.  Unfortunately, our aquarium friends don’t hold any of the aquatic speed records – this goes to the ocean-faring sailfish clocking in at over 65 mph.  That said, if you’ve ever had to net an elusive African cichlid or pyjama wrasse, you’d swear otherwise…

Image credit:  Mexican-fish.com

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Tagged in: Aquatic Adaptations