Fascinating World

A small attempt to gather unusual and amazing facts about elements of Nature.


Perfect Aim

[Please Note: I would like to state that I have not experienced / seen any of the facts mentioned here. I am curious about the various unusual phenomenon occurring in nature. I have only researched and compiled these facts together. The images presented in this blog are not photographed by me. Thank you.]

Though the Archer fish lives in water, it preys on the insects living on land. It has a unique way of catching its prey. Archer fish is also called as Spinner fish.

These fish belong to monotopic family Toxotodae and this family consists of only seven species. These fish live in brackish waters of estuaries and mangroves, as well as open seas and fresh water. Archer fish are commonly found in Philippines, India, Indonesia, Australia, Sri Lanka and Polynesia.

Generally the Archer fish are not very big in size; they grow only up to 5 to 10 cm. but some species can reach up to 40 cm. Their body shape is laterally compressed and they have big eyes which facilitate a good eye-sight.

Archer fish exhibits a jutting lower jaw. Their mouth has a special structure and they can shoot their prey down by spitting a jet of water.

They are very accurate in their aim and an adult fish mostly (almost always) hits its prey at first shot. While aiming at its prey it takes care of not jutting its head out of water, but only its lips break the water surface.

Archer fish forms a channel between the roof of its mouth and tongue, then it contracts the gill covers, forces the water through the channel and shoots the water stream at the prey. It can shoot a stream up to 5 meters (16 feet), but the accuracy is best between the range of 1 to 2 meters. These fish are persistent; if the first shot fails they shoot multiple shots.

[Technical: Archer fish use water jets as tool. It needs considerable force to shoot a stream and hit and knock over an insect. It shoots out in such a way that the water at the end of the stream is shot out at a faster speed than water at the beginning of the stream. Thus the water slams into the prey in short burst and with maximum force. Archer fish deliberately influences the hydrodynamics of water; and so this is considered as the use of water as tool. So far, only man and apes were considered to be intelligent enough to make use of tools for hunting, but the Archer fish also uses water as tool.]


If the insect is closer to the water surface, then the Archer fish even leaps out of water and grabs it. Now it is discovered that thy also shoot water jets underwater to get the prey embedded in silt.