Ryan Photographic - Scombridae - Tunas and mackerels


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Family Scombridae

According to FishBase there are 54 species of the Scombridae in 15 genera. They are widely distributed in tropical and sub-tropical waters and are an important food and "sport" fish. Sizes range from 20 cm to an astonishing 4.58 m in the Atlantic bluefin tuna, although fish this big are rarely, if ever, encountered these days.

The mackerels are mostly filter feeders, swimming with their mouth open and trapping prey on their gill rakers. The bonitos, wahoo, tuna and spanish mackerel are active predators which often feed on the aforementioned mackerel. Yellowfin tuna and wahoo are considered some of the fastest fish on the planet with speeds up to 45 mph in short bursts. Many of the scombrids are partially endothermic (warm blooded). A counter-current system warms oxygenated blood leaving the gills and maintains the central musculature at an elevated temperature. This allows them to swim significantly faster in cooler water than their genuinely cold-blooded prey. The energy requirements of this lifestyle ensures a high level of capillaries in the muscle and this causes the flesh to be red or pink.

Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel

Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

FISH 0322 Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

FISH 0324 Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

FISH 0362 Scomber japonicus Pacific chub mackerel school, Guadalupe, Mexico

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