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Swordfish Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kyle Varon

Kyle has taught college level biology and helped with middle-school science programs.

The swordfish is both an amazing predator and a beautiful animal. In this lesson we will investigate the swordfish and the amazing things that it does in the wild!

What is a Swordfish?

A swordfish is an amazing fish that lives in the oceans of the world. It is commonly referred to as a billed fish due to its long (and sharp) bill commonly called the sword. In this picture of a swordfish, look how its shape is aerodynamic and the bill is long and sharp.

A swordfish
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Characteristics of a Swordfish

As we said, swordfish have a long, flat, and sharp bill that if often used for fishing (yes, a fish that goes fishing.) The way that the swordfish uses his bill is by slashing quickly through groups of fish and injuring the prey. The swordfish can then swim by easily and eat the injured fish. The animals they prefer to eat are much smaller than themselves and include small tuna and squid.

The swordfish is built to be very aerodynamic, which makes it easy to move through the water and one of the fastest fish in the entire ocean (and helps it find fish to eat). Some scientists believe swordfish can swim as fast as 60 miles per hour. That is the same speed you drive down the highway. Imagine going that fast in the swimming pool! Being fast also helps the swordfish get away from being eaten. Although the swordfish has very few predators, it does occasionally get eaten by whales and is often caught by fishermen for food.

Many fish in the ocean do something called schooling, which is when a group of the same fish swim together. Although swordfish don't school like other fish, they do swim near each other. This helps them find food together (kind of like going out to eat with some friends).

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