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Swordfish


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The Swordfish, Xiphias gladius, is a fast-swimming fish that has a long, sharp bill. Swordfish may swim up to 60 mph (100 kph). They are found worldwide in all tropical, subtropical, and temperate seas, from the surface down to 400 or 500 fathoms. Swordfish migrate from rich feeding grounds to spawning grounds each year. Their life span may be about 9 years.

Diet: Swordfish are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat squid, octopus, fish, and crustaceans. Swordfish often kill their prey by swinging their sharp bill from side to side in a school of fish. They then eat the dead and wounded fish.

Predators: Swordfish have very few predators. Orcas, sperm whales, some large sharks, and people eat swordfish.

Anatomy: The biggest swordfish are about 14.5 ft (4.5 m) long, and 1190 pounds (540 kg) in weight. Females are larger than males.

Reproduction: Females produce tens of millions of eggs and fertilization is external.

Classification: Class Osteichthyes (bony fish), Order Perciformes, Suborder Scombroidei (barracuda, mackerel, tuna, billfish), Genus Xiphias, Species gladius.

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