15 Swordfish Facts for Kids
Swordfish. This type of large predatory fish is best known for its long flat bill that highly resembles a sword. A tropical and temperate fish, they mostly live in warmer parts of the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean in deep waters. Besides being known for its long sword-like bill, swordfish are also hunted for sport and for food in various parts of the world.
Swordfish Facts for Kids ~ All About The Swordfish
How They Look
1. Swordfish are best known for their long bill—a long, flat, sword-like bill that’s longer than those of other bill fish.
2. Young swordfish have scales, while adult swordfish don’t. Adult swordfish lose their teeth and scales as soon as they reach at least 3 feet (1 meter) in length.
3. Swordfish are big fish—they commonly reach 9.8 feet (3 meters) in length. The biggest swordfish was reported to be 14.9 feet in length (4.55 meters) and 1,430 pounds (650 kilograms) in weight.
4. These big fish typically reach 177 inches (455 cm) in length and weigh as much as 1,400 pounds (650 kilograms) maximum at adulthood.
5. Commercial Pacific swordfish typically measure 47 to 75 inches (120 to 190 centimeters) long.
6. Female swordfish typically grow larger than their male counterparts of the same age.
Where They Live
7. Swordfish are commonly found throughout tropical and temperate waters located in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans.
8. Swordfish can tolerate water temperatures as cold as 41 degrees F (5 degrees C) to as warm as 80 degrees F (27 degrees C). Many swordfish live in waters danging from 64 degrees F to 71 degrees F (18 degrees C to 22 degrees C).
9. Swordfish reside in waters at depths of 650 feet to 1,970 feet (200 to 600 meters). They’re believed to swim as deep as 2,100 feet (650 meters).
How They Eat
10. Swordfish mainly feed at the surface, but they also feed in deeper waters.
11. These large fish mainly prey on pelagic fish, in addition to squids and other cephalopods. In deeper waters, they also feed on demersal fish.
12. The swordfish actually uses its sword-like bill to hunt prey. Prey like squid and cuttlefish often take slashes from swordfish bills when being preyed upon.
13. Very young swordfish larva often feed on zoo plankton and other fish larvae. Young swordfish often eat small fish, squid and pelagic crustaceans.
Did You Know?
14. There are various swordfish fisheries located in temperate and tropical waters around the world.
15. The United States, Canada, Spain, Portugal and Japan hold the most swordfish catches in the North Atlantic Ocean. Brazil, Japan, Spain, Taiwan and Uruguay also catch the most fish in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean.