Letter | Published:

Flying-Fish do not Fly

Nature volume 31, page 192 | Download Citation



FLYING-FISH are incapable of flying for the simple reason that the muscles of their pectoral fins are not large enough to bear the weight of their body aloft in the air. The pectoral muscles of birds depressing their wings weigh, on an average, (1/6 of the total weight of the body, the pectoral muscles of bats 1/13, the muscles of the pectoral fins of flying-fish only 1/32. The impulse to which flying-fish owe their long shooting passage through the air is delivered, while they are still in the water, by the powerful masses of muscle on both sides of their body, which are of much greater breadth than in the case of the herring or any other fish of their own size.

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  1. Zoological Institut, Kiel, Dec. 15, 1884

    • K. MÖBIUS


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