By: Alicia Grant
The swordfish (Xiphias gladius Linnaeus 1758), also called the broadbill, is the only member of the family Xiphiidae. As its name implies, this magnificent fish is characterized by an upper jaw that extends to form a flat, sharp-edged "sword." The swordfish is a beautiful streamlined with the upper jaw carried forward into its sword fish beak, flattened from top to bottom and oval in section. The front dorsal fin is high, short at the base, and curves backwards. There are no pelvic fins and the anal fin is fairly large. Both the second dorsal fin and second anal fin are very small and set back. Swordfish are very large fish. Today, the average fish caught in the commercial fishery weighs between 90 and 150 kilograms. The largest fish to be caught on a tackle weighed 274 kg. These larger fish measure approximately 4.5 meters in length with a 3 meter body and a 5 meter sword. Female swordfish grow faster, live longer, and are proportionally heavier than their male counterparts. Research shows that by 1 year of age, the female is already almost 4 kg. Its class is the Pices and its order is the Percifomes. Also the genius species name is xiphius gladius. The average life expectancy of the swordfish is approximately 10-15 years. Swordfish have very few predators. Orcas, sperm whales, some large sharks, and humans eat swordfish. The swordfish is the main predator of mostly anything it can get its "sword" on. Swordfish are carnivores (meat-eaters). They eat squid, octopus, fish, and crustaceans. Swordfish often kill their prey by swinging their sharp bill from side to side in a school of fish. They then eat the dead and wounded fish.