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A swordfish is a predatory fish with a distinctive long, pointed bill. Swordfish are found in the world’s major oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. They generally live in warm waters but migrate to cool waters in the summer.
See the fact file below for more information on the swordfish or alternatively, you can download our 24-page Swordfish worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
- Swordfish are named as such because its bill looks like a “sword” because of how pointed, flat, and long it is.
- Swordfish are also called broadbills.
- The scientific name of Swordfish is Xiphias gladius.
- They are the only member of the Xiphiidae family.
- Xiphias is a Greek word meaning swordfish and gladius is a Latin word meaning sword.
- Swordfish are cold-blooded.
- The swordfish looks similar to other billfish, like the marlin.
- It is important to note, however, that the swordfish and the marlin belong to different families.
- Also the functions of their body parts are quite different.
- Swordfish usually reach up to 3 meters long.
- The longest swordfish recorded was 4.55 meters long and weighed 650 kilograms.
- Swordfish have a large tail fin shaped like a crescent, a small dorsal fin, and pectoral fins.
- Swordfish do not have pelvic fins.
- The eyes of a swordfish are huge.
- The top part of a swordfish’s body is silver and blue in color. The bottom part is cream.
- Females are generally larger than males.
- Swordfish in the Pacific Ocean grow larger than those in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Swordfish start losing their teeth and scales upon reaching adulthood.
- At 4 years of age, a swordfish would be considered mature.
- Swordfish may reach up to 9 years in age.
- The oldest age recorded for a swordfish is 12 years for a male and 16 years for a female.
- The age of a swordfish is calculated through the rings on its fin rays.
- Swordfish are ectothermic creatures, meaning they regulate their body temperature mostly by exchanging heat with the surroundings.
- Swordfish have special tissue beside their eyes which keep their eyes and brains warm in colder water.
- When their eyes are heated, their vision improves (which is very useful when catching prey).
- Like tuna and marlin, swordfish are able to conserve heat.
- Swordfish can be found in the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans.
- Swordfish are able to thrive in waters of various temperatures, but they prefer warm waters.
- Swordfish are migratory creatures. During the winter, they migrate to warmer waters. While during the summer, they migrate to cooler waters.
- Swordfish are generally found deep underwater.
- There are times, though, when they jump out of the water; this is called breaching.
- Swordfish can swim at over 50 miles per hour. They are among the swiftest species of fish.
- They are quick and agile enough to catch their prey.
- Swordfish are carnivores and commonly feed on other fish such as herring, hake, mackerel, bluefish, and rockfish, among other pelagic fish out in the open sea.
- If the prey is big, the swordfish can slash it with its pointed bill to injure it so that it will be easier to catch.
- If the prey is small, the swordfish will swallow it whole.
- Swordfish eat primarily at night when they go up to the surface to hunt smaller fish.
- They have one of the highest levels of stamina among game fish.
- In terms of water temperature, swordfish have the widest range of tolerance among billfish.
- Swordfish generally swim go up to 550 meters deep.
- The deepest a swordfish has been recorded to swim is 2,878 meters.
- Swordfish are not social and usually don’t gather in groups (called schools).
- Rather, they swim alone or in loose groups.
- You may spot a swordfish basking at the surface of the water airing their first dorsal fin.
- Parasites of swordfish include lampreys, remoras, tapeworms, copepods, and roundworms.
- Sometimes, killer whales prey on swordfish.
- Young swordfish are more vulnerable as prey and are eaten by various predatory fish.
REPRODUCTION AND LIFE CYCLE
- Reproduction occurs by spawning.
- Swordfish lay eggs – millions at a time!
- A female swordfish is able to lay up to 30 million eggs at one time.
- Swordfish begin as super small larvae.
- Their pointed bill starts showing soon after hatching.
- Swordfish grow into adulthood very quickly.
FISHING AND FOOD
- Swordfish are wonderful to watch, especially when they are breaching.
- Swordfish is a popular fish for cooking because their meat is firm and can be grilled beautifully like a steak.
- Recreational fishing has developed a specialty called swordfishing.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the swordfish across 24 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Swordfish worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about a swordfish which is a predatory fish with a distinctive long, pointed bill. Swordfish are found in the world’s major oceans: the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans. They generally live in warm waters but migrate to cool waters in the summer.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Swordfish Facts
- Fishing Facts
- Scrambled Letters
- Physical Features
- Fish in the Blanks
- Fish Lookalike
- Plenty of Fish
- Solve the Puzzle
- Reproduction and Growth
- My Favorite Facts
- The Swordfish Song
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Link will appear as Swordfish Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 21, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.