The Awesome Archerfish

by Henry

The archerfish is a very special type of fish. They, like most freshwater fish, hunt bugs, but not the puny water skaters. They hunt lightning-bugs that live up above the water. Now, before you fall off of your chair with laughter, thinking I’m insane, hear me out. In order to get these bugs, the archerfish must first swim under the branches with the bugs on them (these branches span out over the water). Then they shoot a jet of water (this is a really powerful jet) out of their mouths and up to the bugs. More often than not, it knocks them off of the branch, and they fall into the water and die. Then the archerfish swims over and gobbles it up. But the really cool thing is that the jet only takes 240 milliseconds to fire: half the time it takes you to blink. That’s one fast hunt.

I first got interested in the archerfish when I saw it on an Animal Planet show. From other online references, I discovered that the archerfish’s Latin name is Toxotes jaculatrix. They also have a dorsal fin, just like sharks.

One last cool fact. There was a submarine built that had the name U.S.S. Archerfish. Cool, huh?

To see the archerfish in action, go to this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhBZ40jIo4Q

To see a photo of the U.S.S. Archerfish, go to: http://www.navycthistory.com/images/Archerfish_SSN-678.jpg

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Filed under Assignment 1: Science We're Excited About

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