Archerfish mouth is the secret of precision spit | Science News



Archerfish mouth is the secret of precision spit

Shooting gobs of water at targets requires quick changes and fine control

4:51pm, September 4, 2014
archerfish spitting

SPIT POWER  An archerfish can weaponize water into a high-impact blob thanks to subtle variations in its mouth opening. 

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When archerfish hunt by precision spitting water into the air, they do a lot more with their mouths than put their lips together and blow.

If a Toxotes archerfish can’t jump high enough to snatch an insect off an overhanging leaf, the fish spits a water stream upward that knocks prey off its perch. In a quirk that puts extra punch into the water blast, the fish fires the trailing end of a water stream faster than the water released at the beginning.

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