National Geographic : 1938 Oct
© National Geographic Society Painting byHashime Murayama WITH TAIL FOR LAUNCHING POWER AND FINS FOR WINGS, GLIDERS OF NATURE SKIM OVER THE SEA Thrashing the water, the tail catapults the CALIFORNIA FLYING FISH (Cypselurus californicus) into the air.Instantly tailaction ceases, and large pectoral fins spread out wide. When the fish touches the water again, tail action is resumed and the flyer "taxies" along like aseaplane orskipping stone. Successive take-offs seldom number over four. Most single flights last only one or two seconds, although some of12and 13have been recorded.