The Exocoetidae are a family of marine fish in the order Beloniformes class Actinopterygii. Fish of this family are known as flying fish. About 64 species are grouped in seven to nine genera. Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, where their long, wing-like fins enable gliding flight for considerable distances above the water's surface. This uncommon ability is a natural defence mechanism to evade predators.
The oldest known fossil of a flying or gliding fish, Potanichthys xingyiensis, dates back to the Middle Triassic, 235–242 million years ago. However, this fossil is not related to modern flying fish, which evolved independently about 66 million years ago.
Volans constellation lies in the southern sky. It is one of the smallest constellations. It represents the flying fish.
Volans is not associated with any myths. It was one of the constellations created by the Dutch astronomer and cartographer Petrus Plancius in the late 16th century, that first appeared depicted in a star atlas in 1603, in Johann Bayer’s Uranometria. The constellation was originally named Piscis Volans, the flying fish, by Plancius, but the name was eventually shortened to Volans.