Drone Eyes Capture Dazzling Transformation: World’s Fastest Fish Changing Colour Before Going in For the Kill

By: | March 7th, 2024

The striped marlin, a contender for the title of the world’s fastest fish, boasts another impressive feat in its aquatic arsenal: the ability to rapidly change colour before striking its prey. This fascinating behaviour, previously unknown, was unveiled thanks to the sharp eyes of drone technology.

Colorful Communication: Unveiling the Striped Marlin’s Remarkable Hue Shifts

Researchers studying the hunting strategies of the striped marlin deployed drones to capture their movements from a unique aerial perspective. The footage revealed a captivating transformation. As individual marlins prepared to launch an attack on schools of sardines, their bodies underwent a remarkable shift in colour.

The marlins’ signature blue-gray stripes, typically muted and blending in with the surrounding water, became significantly brighter and more contrasted. This “lighting up” effect, observed just before the attack, was followed by a rapid return to their usual coloration once the strike was complete.

Drones in Action: Revolutionizing Our View of Striped Marlin Hunting Strategies

Scientists believe this dynamic colour change serves as a communication tool within the marlin hunting group. The attacking marlin, by transforming into a visually striking beacon, signals its intent to others. This helps prevent accidental collisions and ensures a coordinated hunt.

This discovery not only sheds light on the complex hunting behaviour of striped marlins but also highlights the valuable role drones play in revealing previously unknown aspects of animal behaviour. Studying these underwater predators from a new vantage point has opened a window into their fascinating world of communication and coordination, expanding our understanding of this remarkable species.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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