; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes)
A small family of marine fish that have strongly streamlined bodies, a long bill (upper jaw), and a high dorsal fin, which is even more accentuated in the sailfish. When swimming, the long-based dorsal fin is folded down into a special groove at the back. The deeply forked tail fin has very long dorsal and ventral lobes. Makaira nigricans (blue marlin) can grow to about 5 m; Istiophorus platypterus (sailfish) grows to about 2.5 m. There are about 10 species, distributed world-wide in tropical to subtropical seas.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.