Sardines are small fish that are one of the most popular commercially fished animals in many parts of the world. Pacific sardines are an essential source of food for humans as they offer us a good source of different types of nutrients such as vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids, and a lot more. There are at least 21 distinctive and unique species and five genus categories of sardines. Among these 21 species, there is one sardine that is most commonly known used in cooking and food preparation. This is the Pacific sardine (Sardinops caeruleus).
When compared to other herring fish such as the American shad, sardines are small fish. They can reach and can range up to 17 in (45.72 cm) in length and can weigh as little as 1.5 lb (0.68 kg) each. As well as being eaten by humans, they are one of the key components of the diets of other creatures living along the coast, including birds and fishes such as dolphins, seals, blue whales, penguins, terns, and brown pelicans. As we know, humans are also one of the biggest consumers of these sardines. They have a pretty pleasant and mild flavor and sardines have a very dense and oily fish-like taste no matter how they are cooked (whether they are smoked, salted, or marinated). Fresh sardines have a particularly salty and fishy taste. As they are so popular, there is an imminent threat of overfishing that puts the worldwide sardine population at risk.
So let's learn more interesting facts about sardines here, including facts about the sardine diet, sardine habitat, sardine bones, and fresh sardine dishes! To learn more about other fish, you can also check out our guides to the sockeye salmon and anchovies too.
What do they prey on?
Zooplankton and phytoplankton
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
1.5 lb (0.68 kg)
How long are they?
17 in (45.72 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Deep steel blue or greenish-blue
What are their main threats?
Humans and predators
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
The northern Pacific Ocean
Sardine Interesting Facts
What type of animal are sardines?
Sardines are fish that are popularly known as a food product.
What class of animal do sardines belong to?
Like every other fish, sardines belong to the classification Actinopterygii. They are fishes from the ray-finned family.
How many sardines are there in the world?
Sardine fish are found along coasts and in freshwater. With a large population in the Pacific Ocean, it is estimated that there might be approximately 27,547 metric tons of sardines in the world.
Where do sardines live?
There are almost 27 species of these fish and there are various places where you can find different species. Sardines can be found in South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
What is a sardine's habitat?
As mentioned earlier these fish are commonly found in coastal waters which means that their habitat is predominantly in saltwater or marine water. Sardines that are found in water in the Pacific Ocean are known as Pacific sardines.
Who do sardines live with?
These fish are often seen living in a very big group of sardines. This is called a school of fish when talking about them collectively.
How long do sardines live?
These fish can normally survive for almost 20 years of life.
How do they reproduce?
As said earlier these fish are likely to live in large groups called schools of fish. These big groups are important during the breeding season, which is during late summer and early fall. Sardine fish use the process of external fertilization, so the female fish releases eggs in the water for the male fish to fertilize.
What is their conservation status?
Different species of sardines have different conservation statutes. One noteworthy species is the Madeiran sardine, which is classified as Endangered by the IUCN.
Sardine Fun Facts
What do sardines look like?
Sardina pilchardus fish can grow up to 17 in (45.72 cm) in size. This is comparatively small among all fish species. The body of sardine fish is laterally compressed, and a sardine head has a slightly pointed nose, a large mouth at the end of the snout, and a projecting lower jaw. They also have bright eyes. Their abdominal fins are directly located almost below their dorsal fin, which is situated directly midway down their back. The scales of these fish are kind of loosely attached and large. The color of their body is kind of deep steel blue or greenish blue, and they have silver sides and a silver belly.
How cute are they?
Their silvery-blue scales can make them look quite cute, but these fish are not typically thought of as cute as they are primarily viewed as a food source.
How do they communicate?
In order to communicate there are certain types of noises that they can produce. The intensity of this noise is seen to increase when the number of sardine fish in a school increases.
How big is a sardine?
Pacific sardines are the smallest of many different sardine species. Sardines can grow up to 17 in (45.72 cm) in size.
How fast can a sardine swim?
Although the exact speed of sardines has not been recorded yet, we do know that they can swim at a good speed. As fresh sardines are in high demand by humans and lots of other animals prey on sardines, these fish have to be quick to save themselves from all of these dangers.
How much does a sardine weigh?
The weight of sardines is approximately 1.5 lb (0.68 kg).
What are their male and female names of the species?
No specific names have been given to male or female sardines.
What would you call a baby sardine?
There is no specific name for a baby sardine.
Do humans eat them?
Yes, humans do eat these fish. They are actually one of the most consumed fish by humans from the marine world, after salmon. Sardines are sold in different forms to humans, including canned sardines or sardines canned in oil, as well as fresh sardines. There are a lot of health benefits from this fish. It is full of protein and also has large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Have you ever tried any sardine recipes such as sardine on toast or even just sardine oil?
Are they dangerous?
No sardines are not dangerous to humans at all.
Would they make a good pet?
No, sardines are not a popular pet as they are wild fish, who belong in their natural habitats. They are not suitable to keep as pets.
Did you know...
One of the most interesting facts about the Pacific sardine is that a school of sardines can be so big that they can take up miles of space underwater.
To give sardines a rich flavor of oil and to keep them moist and tender, they are usually canned in olive oil.
There is a theory that says that sardines got their name from the island Sardinia in the Mediterranean, where these fish were plentiful.
Sardine vs. anchovy
When it comes to anchovy vs sardine fish, it can be said that these fish found along the coast look alike in many ways. Both are small fish in size and both are also canned for consumption and are cooked as a source of omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. The protein from both these fish (including from the Pacific sardine) offers the humans that eat them many health benefits.
Many people like to eat sardines directly out of the can, perhaps with crackers or some tomatoes or onions, which really enhance and improve the quality of the flavor of the fish. There are many health benefits to eating canned sardines and they are seen as a healthy fish species to eat as part of a fish meal. They offer a good source of omega 3s.
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 yellowfin tuna, or warmouth.
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