Science Explains the Swordfish’s Speed

Scientists have recently discovered that a gland at the base of a swordfish’s bill may in fact help the fish swim faster.

According to Seeker, scientists have discovered that an oversized gland situated in the weak spot at the base of the fish’s bill actually seems to be a trait designed to help improve the fish’s speed in the water. The gland secretes an oil substance that coats the head of the swordfish, giving us a sleek coating that helps to make it more aerodynamic in the water.

SwordfishThis oil serves to reduce drag and help the fish cut through the water more efficiently. Swordfish, a cousin of the sailfish, already have bodies built for speed and are regarded as one of the fastest fish in the ocean, and now we have a better idea of what helps these fish keep their speed.

A swordfish uses its bill in sweeping motions to slash and stun its prey, but it also helps with swimming by piercing through the water. The bill is porous and rough, and often makes up as much as 40 to 45 percent of the fish’s body length, aiding significantly in reducing drag. The discovery of the gland and the generation of this oil to slick the skin makes the swordfish even more water resistant, and researchers believe that it helps the fish reduce water drag by as much as an additional 20 percent.

More than anything else, this discovery tells there are still many mysteries about animals and wildlife yet to be solved, even in some of the most familiar animals of the sea.

Because of their speed, swordfish make an excellent challenge for anglers. At The Triple Trouble, we run charter-fishing expeditions to catch swordfish and sailfish, a fish with similar characteristics to a swordfish. We understand the thrill of trying to catch these fish and Capt. Chad has plenty of experience chasing these elusive fish down in the waters off Orange Beach, Alabama. Sign up for your fishing charter experience today by calling 256-431-5767.