Tunas Barracudas Marlins and Relatives: Scombroidei
Blue Marlin (makaira Nigricans): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: Blue marlins have a long snout that forms a spear. These fish reach a length of approximately 16 feet (5 meters) and weigh more than 1,900 pounds (900 kilograms), almost one ton. The body is blue on the back and silvery white on the belly. There are about fifteen light-colored up-and-down bars on the sides. The forward part of the first dorsal fin is high and pointed. The first anal fin also is large and pointed. The dorsal (DOOR-suhl) fins are the ones along the midline of the back. The anal (AY-nuhl) fins are the ones along the midline of the belly. The tail fin is large and shaped like a crescent moon. The body is covered with scales that are deep in the skin. Each scale has one or two spines.
Geographic range: Blue marlin live in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
Habitat: Blue marlin live near the surface in the ocean.
Diet: Blue marlin eat dolphinfishes, tuna-like fishes, and squid.
Behavior and reproduction: Marlins use their bills to stun their prey, or animals hunted and caught for food. Scientists know little about the spawning grounds or seasons of blue marlin. The eggs are very small and hatch into free-floating larvae.
Blue marlin and people: Blue marlin is an important food and sport fish.
Conservation status: Blue marlin are not threatened or endangered. ∎
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Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesTunas Barracudas Marlins and Relatives: Scombroidei - Barracudas, Tunas, Marlins, Their Relatives, And People, Blue Marlin (makaira Nigricans): Species Accounts - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, CONSER