Fun Mahi Mahi Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Mahi Mahi Facts For Kids

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The mahi mahi fish is also known as the common dolphin fish and as the 'dorado' fish.  They inhabit tropical, neotropical, and sub-tropical off-temperature waters around the world and their name means 'very strong' in Hawaiian.

Even though they are called dolphin fish, these subtropical fish have no relation in any way to a dolphin. The dolphin fish is a ray-finned surface-dwelling fish of the Coryphaenidae family. Their Spanish name, dorado, is often used to reference this fish in the English-speaking parts of South Africa in particular. 'Lampuka' is another named used for this fish in Malta. The genus Coryphaena is a derivation of a Greek word meaning 'top' or 'apex.'

The dolphin fish is a bright blue or green colored fish, and after they die, they change to a dull yellowish-gray color. Their head is bigger than their body, and their body gradually gets thinner as they age. They often swim near and around debris like palm trees, sargasso weed lines, and floating wood. This fish is a popular food in the Hawaiian islands and in other parts of the world.

If you like these fish facts, you may also check out our Vendace fish and dogtooth tuna facts too!

Fun Mahi Mahi Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Small fish, crustaceans, squid, cuttlefish, and zooplankton

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

80,000-1,000,000 per spawning event

How much do they weigh?

15-29 lb (7-13 kg)

How long are they?

35-55 in (84-140 cm)

How tall are they?

6.5-10.5 in (16.5-26.7 cm)

What do they look like?

Golden, bright green, and blue

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Sharks, Whales, Sea Lions, And Large Tuna Fish

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Saltwater Or Marine Temperate And Tropical Zones


Indian, Pacific, Atlantic Ocean









Mahi Mahi Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mahi mahi?

Mahi mahi fish are tropical, neotropical, subtropical, off-shore temperate-zone saltwater fish. They are found near the surface of the water and are not to be confused with the dolphin mammal, despite their name. This so-called dolphin fish likes traveling and is constantly moving for long periods in a day.

What class of animal does a mahi mahi belong to?

This dolphin fish belongs to the Actinopterygii class of fish.

How many mahi mahi are there in the world?

They occupy many places around the world but there is currently no data that shows the exact number of these fish present in the world.

Where does a mahi mahi live?

This dolphin fish lives in waters of the Caribbean and the United States, particularly on the west coast of South and North America. They are also found in Hawaii, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, West Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Bay of Bengal.

What is a mahi mahi's habitat?

A typical mahi mahi habitat is found in saltwater and tropical, temperate, and subtropical regions. They are often found in areas with debris and are found at about 120 ft (37 m) deep.

Who do mahi mahi fish live with?

These fish live in loosely packed schools or in pairs.

How long does a mahi mahi live?

The maximum mahi mahi lifespan of this fish is about five years. The mahi mahi life cycle is short and it is even shorter in captivity, with most fish living for just 18 months in captivity. Overall, the average life span is about two years.

How do they reproduce?

This fish species grows fast and reaches sexual maturity after just four to five months of their first year of life. This is due to their short life span. During each spawning season, females produce between 80,000 to 1,000,000 eggs and this season occurs twice a year in warm waters. Every few days females will release tens of thousands of eggs during this time. Males fertilize each egg to create an embryo by releasing sperm into the water. Each embryo then hatches to become a larva fish. A great number of eggs are found in waters with temperatures higher than 93.2 F (34 C) during spring and summer. Sadly, 20-30% of mahi mahi babies are killed at a young age due to living in waters with the wrong salinity level or a lack of food.

What is their conservation status?

Sport and commercial overfishing pose a threat to this fish. It is also a largely consumed food across the world. They are currently listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.

Climate change has an effect on this species as their habitat is found in tropical conditions. These species are cold-blooded so they won't be able to survive through a sudden 'Ice Age'. They are at risk of dying if the water gets too cold, as this will resemble arctic conditions, rather than tropical ones.

Mahi Mahi Fun Facts

What do mahi mahi look like?

Mahi mahi fish have a long dorsal fin along their elongated, slender body. This slender body and sharp dorsal fin is the reason for their speed. This fish has sharp, concave anal and caudal fins and the forehead of a mature male fish protrudes above its body, whereas the forehead of a female is round. This fish has bright blue and green on its back and sides. It also has golden scales on its flank and sides. This fish also has a shiny blue pectoral fin. They turn into various shades of gold before fading to a grayish-yellow color after they die. Females are smaller in size and not as heavy as males and males also have a definite neurocranium. The body temperature of these dolphin fish varies depending on their immediate environment as they are able to regulate heat. With its dorsal fin, anterior fin, and posterior fin, the dolphin fish has bilateral symmetry.

The short-lived mahi mahi fish is a migratory fish.

* Please note that this is an image of a Dourado fish, not a mahi mahi fish. If you have an image of a mahi mahi fish please let us know at [email protected]

How cute are they?

Even though they have bright colors and symmetrical dorsal fins, many people think their protruded jaw makes these common dolphin fish look a little grumpy.

How do they communicate?

The mahi mahi dolphin fish uses touch, smell, and chemicals to communicate.

How big is a mahi mahi?

This dolphin fish is typically 35-55 in (84-140 cm) long and 6.5-10.5 in (16.5-26.7 cm) in height. Males are bigger than females.

How fast can a mahi mahi swim?

Their long and slender body helps this dolphin fish to swim quickly through water bodies. Their top speed is 50 knots, which is equivalent to 57.5 mph (92.6 kph).

How much does a mahi mahi weigh?

The weight of this dolphin fish is 15-29 lb (7-13 kg). Males are slightly heavier than females.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names give to females and males.

What would you call a baby mahi mahi?

Mahi mahi dolphin fish babies are called larval fish.

What do they eat?

This dolphin fish is an active and high-energy predator with a large mouth. The mahi mahi diet includes small fish, squid, cuttlefish, and crustaceans. Young dolphin fish hunt small fish and zooplankton and the flying fish that skims through water is also the prey of dolphin fish, making up 25% of their diet.

Are they dangerous?

There are no reports of these dolphin fish biting a human. So, they are not particularly dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

The dolphin fish is a high-energy navigating fish so it does not fit well in an aquarium.

Did you know...

One of the reasons that this dolphin fish moves so fast is that they need to push water through their gills to get oxygen.

To defend themselves from predators, young mahi mahi fish travel in groups of 50 or more. This group gets smaller as they get older.

A dolphin fish caught in the year 1976 holds the International Game Fish Association World Record, weighing 87 lb (39.4 kg) in Papagayo Gulf, Costa Rica.

Another common dolphin fish that was caught just outside Ocean City in 1985 holds the Maryland State Record for weighing 67.5 lb (30.6 kg).

This common dolphin fish is also known as a bull dolphin fish.

Commercial fishing takes place in the Caribbean and the United States for this fish. It is sold in Australia by swordfish and tuna commercial fishing operators as a byproduct.

Fishermen in French Polynesia and the Philippines use a fishing technique called Pagmamamataw to catch these fish. The pilot of a high-speed V-shaped boat holds a stick in one hand as he drives through the water and, as this fish does not dive, it's an easier method of fishing.

Do people eat mahi mahi?

Yes, this dolphin fish is eaten widely in Hawaii, America, and other parts of the world. This fish is low in fat and high in protein and it can be easily incorporated into your diet. Its fillets are rich in iron, vitamins, minerals, and omega 3. These fillets look like swordfish but taste different to swordfish as the mahi mahi taste is a mild, sweet flavor.

Before cooking a mahi mahi recipe, it is important to make sure that the mahi mahi fillets are freshly bought. Rinse the fresh fillet and dry it before cooking. Arguably the best way to cook mahi mahi fillets is by grilling them. The mahi mahi recipe possibilities are endless, from mahi mahi tacos with ginger lemon dressing, to baked mahi mahi fillets, and sesame-crusted mahi mahi with soy shiso ginger butter sauce. There are so many great mahi mahi recipes. Please be aware that this fish can cause ciguatera poisoning due to toxins that can accumulate in the flesh for a long time.

Mahi mahi adaptations

The mahi mahi fish is able to grow really quickly, this is an important adaptation due to their short life span as it means that they can reproduce at a young age. This is just one of many adaptations that this fish has developed over many generations in order to survive.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the muskellunge, or the largetooth sawfish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Mahi Mahi coloring pages.

If someone on our team is always keen to learn and grow, then it has to be Arpitha. She realized that starting early would help her gain an edge in her career, so she applied for internship and training programs before graduation. By the time she completed her B.E. in Aeronautical Engineering from Nitte Meenakshi Institute of Technology in 2020, she had already gained much practical knowledge and experience. Arpitha learned about Aero Structure Design, Product Design, Smart Materials, Wing Design, UAV Drone Design, and Development while working with some leading companies in Bangalore. She has also been a part of some notable projects, including Design, Analysis, and Fabrication of Morphing Wing, where she worked on new age morphing technology and used the concept of corrugated structures to develop high-performance aircraft, and Study on Shape Memory Alloys and Crack Analysis Using Abaqus XFEM that focused on 2-D and 3-D crack propagation analysis using Abaqus.

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