Fun Broadbill Swordfish Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Nov 16, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 27, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these broadbill swordfish facts to discover about this fish.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.3 Min

The broadbill swordfish (Xiphias gladius) is from the family Xiiphidae and the population is distributed across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans.

The types of habitats that this swordfish inhabits consist of warm water and it migrates to the cold water in Australia in summer to feed and it comes back to the warm waters to spend winters and also for spawning and thus, is considered to be a highly migratory species.

The swordfish feed on prey like lanternfish, herring, and redfish. It also feeds on squids and crustaceans.

The swordfish is not known to make great pets as it requires large aquariums and it can get difficult to manage. Predators of adults include sharks and humans. The Latin word 'gladius' in the binomial name of this species means 'sword'.

The broadbill swordfish is placed under the Least Concern category of conservation ranking and is considered to be an ideal species for grilling. The world record specimen was caught on the Chilean coast.

It is very gripping to explore more about the broadbill swordfish (Xiphias gladius) and if you like, read about tetra and lungfish, too.

Broadbill Swordfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a broadbill swordfish?

The broadbill swordfish is a type of fish. It is popularly served as sushi.

What class of animal does a broadbill swordfish belong to?

It is classified under the class of Actinopterygii of fishes.

How many broadbill swordfish are there in the world?

There is no estimation recorded for the global population of this fish.

Where does a broadbill swordfish live?

The population of this fish is distributed across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans range and is not considered to be endemic to a particular range. The eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea is also considered to be a potential region where this swordfish can be found.

What is a broadbill swordfish's habitat?

The habitat of this fish is warm water and tends to move into temperate or cooler water to feed in the summer months of Australia. This fish is known to come back to the warmer waters for spawning and spend winters. This species might also be found at the surface sometimes.

Who does broadbill swordfish live with?

Adults of this species are known to be solitary and are not spotted in schools or groups.

How long does a broadbill swordfish live?

The lifespan of this species is up to 15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Reproductive maturity of this fish is reached at the age of five to six and in the tropical water, the breeding takes place almost all year but in higher latitudes, breeding only takes place in spring and summer. Spawning takes place in warm waters.

Females are considered to be serial spawners and lay eggs up to 90 times in around two and a half days. Depending on the size of the body, females lay around 1.2-2.5 million eggs.

What is their conservation status?

 This species is placed under the Least Concern category of conservation status.

Broadbill Swordfish Fun Facts

What do broadbill swordfish look like?

The appearance of the broadbill swordfish changes as it ages. The larvae of this species are known to have a shorter snout and the scales of this fish are prickly.

The bill of the swordfish tends to develop when a particular length is reached and the body starts getting narrow and during this phase, the dorsal fin extends from the length of the body. The first dorsal fin is rigid and high.

The fin later grows into a single lobe as the fish gets older. As the name suggests, this fish has a sword-like-looking bill. This fish does not have pelvic fins and has two anal and dorsal fins.

The fins are generally brownish or dark brown in color. The body is brown-blackish in color with comparatively lighter underparts.

The bill and the color of this fish are some of its recognizable features.*We've been unable to source an image of a broadbill swordfish and have used an image of a green sawfish instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a broadbill sawfish, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

How cute are they?

This species of fish is not considered cute by people.

How do they communicate?

Not a lot is known about the communication of these fish, but it is believed that these fish communicate through chemical and tactile cues.

How big is a broadbill swordfish?

The length of this fish generally ranges from 59-118 in (150-300 cm), but it can be up to 1102.3 lb (500 kg). It is smaller than a largetooth sawfish and smalltooth sawfish.

How fast can a broadbill swordfish swim?

Swordfish, in general, are known to swim with a speed of around 68 mph (110 kph). Just like the marlin, this swordfish is known to be one of the fastest fishes found in the ocean.

The swordfish can be found at differing depths and can also be found at the surface and might also sometimes jump out of the water and this activity is known as breaching.

How much does a broadbill swordfish weigh?

The weight of this species usually ranges from 154-331 lb (70-150 kg), but it can be up to 1102 lb (500 kg). The world-record specimen of the broadbill swordfish was caught in 1953, off the Chile coast and the recorded weight was 1182 lb (536 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males and females of this species do not have any specific names.

What would you call a baby broadbill swordfish?

There is no particular name for a baby of this swordfish species.

What do they eat?

This fish species is known to prey on other small fishes like herring, redfish, lanternfish, and silver hake, squids, cuttlefish, and some crustaceans. This fish is known to feed mostly at the night.

Are they dangerous?

There are not many records available about this fish's attack on humans, but this fish is considered to be quite dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not a lot of information is available about this fish as a pet, but it is believed that this fish does not make a great pet as it is very large for a home aquarium and thus, difficult to manage.

Did you know...

The swordfish is known to be a great grilling fish and is commonly served as sushi.

The flesh color of the swordfish can be white, orange, or pink and this color depends on the diet of this swordfish.

Predators of the adult of this species include large sharks and orcas and the juvenile swordfish is preyed upon by sailfish, sharks, marlins, and tuna. Predators also include killer whales and humans.

This swordfish is known to have some specialized organs near the eyes which keep the eyes and the brain of the swordfish warm in the cold waters and this helps in the ability to see.

The word 'gladius' in the binomial name of this swordfish, Xiphias gladius, is a Latin word that means 'sword'.

This swordfish is of high commercial importance in the fisheries.

How long can swordfish survive out of water?

Swordfish cannot survive for a long time out of the water as they tend to suffocate and die post three to four minutes when no movement in a gill can be seen. Thus, it is always advised to not take the swordfish out until new water for transfer is ready.

How do you fish for broadbill?

Pelagic longline gear is to be used to harvest this fish in the fisheries. These longlines tend to sway in the water column and are known to not touch the deep seafloor. Other marine gears and equipment used by fisheries include harpoon, rod and reel, and buoy gear.

 Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our three spot gourami facts and clownfish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fish mosaic coloring pages.

*We've been unable to source an image of a broadbill swordfish and have used an image of a sawfish instead as the main image. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of a broadbill sawfish, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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