September 17, 2010

The Amazing Flying Fish

Fish aren't birds. Seems like a simple enough argument; one lives in the water, the other flies around and lives pretty much wherever it likes.

Then there are flying fish. Like flying squirrels and scuba divers, these animals appear profoundly confused about which element they belong in. They blur the lines about what it means to be a "fish." The thing is, they're good at it -- flying fish can remain aloft for up to 45 seconds and travel a quarter of a mile above the water.

How do they do it? Two engineers at Seoul National University in Korea, Haecheon Choi and Hyungmin Park, have just found out.

Read the rest here.

In the video above, flying fish fly to escape predators, and then deposit their eggs on a raft of palm fronds. Watch the entire "Fish" episode of LIFE on Animal Planet, Sunday, June 13 at 8PM e/p.