Natural Lube Powers One of World's Fastest Fish

A newfound oil-producing organ may help accelerate swordfish as they prowl the seas, a new study says.

With a hydrodynamic rapier for a nose and over 1,000 pounds (454 kilograms) of fin-pumping muscle, the swordfish can reach speeds of over 60 miles per hour (97 kilometers per hour)—making it one of the fastest fish on Earth.

Now scientists say they’ve found a new, never-before-seen organ that may be responsible for some of that wave-cutting speed.

According to new experiments published today in the Journal of Experimental Biology, the swordfish has an oil-producing gland at the base of its bill, or sword. As the animal swims, this gland pumps a cocktail of fatty acids to its skin through a network of tiny capillaries and pores. (See "Why a Swordfish’s Sword Doesn’t Break.")

The scientists believe the oil creates

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