|Scientific name||Sardinops sagax|
|Length||Up to 16 inches (40 centimeters)|
|Weight||Up to 1.1 pounds (486 grams)|
|Life span||Up to 25 years|
|Number of eggs||10,000 eggs|
|Age of maturity||1 to 2 years|
Why do we travel in schools?
Coastal, pelagic (commonly occurs up to 150 miles offshore in times of abundance). Sardines travel in schools that may contain hundreds of thousands to millions of individuals. The large numbers of fish in the schools and their rapid coordinated movements serve as an adaptation against predators. They are migratory and may travel distances of more than 1000 km between feeding and spawning habitats over the course of a year.
What is our life span?
On Isla Rasa in the central Gulf of California, half a million birds (Heermann’s Gulls and Elegant Terns) catch about 65 tons of sardines each day during three months of the nesting season. Sardines feed on zooplankton and phytoplankton by filter feeding and selective capture of larger prey. Life span under natural conditions is normally 12 to 13 years, but some are thought to live up to 20 to 25 years. Spawning may occur in the first year. Eggs are pelagic. Studies of a 1500-year long record of deposition of sardine scales in a well preserved sedimentary deposit off the coast of southern California indicate that this species has undergone natural fluctuations of high and low abundance varying in length between 50 to 75 years, apparently related to large-scale climate change.
South American Pilchards are considered least concern.
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