swordfish

(via A Baby Swordfish Fits on Top of a Fingertip | Colossal)

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that a baby swordfish is extremely tiny, but for an animal that grows up to 10 feet long and weighs nearly 1,500 pounds, it’s still astonishing to learn their offspring are so miniscule. PhD candidate Juan C. Levesque shot this amazing close-up of a baby swordfish perched atop a human fingertip for scale. Incredibly, this tiny fish will grow up to 29 inches in just its first year of life. You can read more about the rapid growth of swordfish at Florida Sportsman.

Swordfish are enormous creatures, but they sure don’t start out that way. The Department of Teeny-weeny Wonders is marveling at this close-up photo of a baby swordfish or swordfish larva, taken by fishery biologist Juan C. Levesque.

Most swordfish grow to be about 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length and some get even bigger still, but when they first hatch from their eggs they’re only about 4 millimeters long. These itty-bitty larvae grow at an astonishing rate, feeding on a diet of other fish larvae and zooplankton, reaching a length of up to 39 inches (3.25 feet) during their first year of life.

To learn more about these amazing fish check out Levesque’s article about them on Florida Sportsman Magazine.

[via Twisted Sifter]