Take Aim with the Archer Fish

archer fish
image credit: Scott Linstead

archer fishimage credit: mongabay.com 

archer fishimage credit: Scott Linstead
Habitat: India, Philippines, Australia, and Polynesia
The sharpest shooter in the animal kingdom is the Archer fish, known for its ability to literally shoot its land-based prey out of the air! Amazingly, adult fish almost always hit the target on the first shot.

The jet of water they shoot can be up to 2–5 m long, but their accuracy only allows them to shoot insects 1–2 m away depending on body size. The fish can alter the power of the shot for prey of different sizes. If the fish doesn’t get what it wants on the first try, it will keep shooting till it does. Persistence pays off!

Young archerfish start shooting when they are about 2.5 cm long, but are naturally pretty bad at first so must practice, practice, practice to get as good as their parents. During this learning period, they hunt in small schools. That way, the probability is enhanced that at least one jet will hit its target.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16941846553980567347 Tricia

    You should do a post on sea dragons. Know what they are? Only the coolest fuggin things I’ve ever seen in my life. Your crazy fish made me think of them. I love fishies.

  • http://magazine.gritfx.com/a-to-z-of-animal-tees/ Manz

    That’s some sharp shooting! 😉
    Love the resources you pulled together for this post. Site was recommended to me on blogcatalog… so very glad I clicked through!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14413237012527210151 Alan

    There is an enrichment feeder for these at Bristol Zoo where I volunteer. It is just a plastic pot with some holes in the side. When crickets are put inside every so often one will crawl out of the hole and get shot into the water by the archer fish.

  • Whats R Nutts

    Archer fish are amazing! I hadn’t heard of them until I went to an aquarium in Dubai.