Scombridae is the family of the mackerels, tunas, and bonitos, so includes many of the most important and familiar food fishes. The family consists of 51 species in 15 genera and two subfamilies.
All species are in the subfamily Scombrinae, except the butterfly kingfish – which is the sole member of subfamily Gasterochismatinae. Scombrids have two dorsal fins, and a series of finlets behind the rear dorsal fin and anal fin.
The caudal fin is strongly divided and rigid, with a slender, ridged base. The first (spiny) dorsal fin and the pelvic fins are normally retracted into body grooves.
Species lengths vary from the of the island mackerel to the recorded for the immense Atlantic bluefin tuna. Scombrids are generally predators of the open ocean, and are found worldwide in tropical and temperate waters.
They are capable of considerable speed, due to a highly streamlined body and retractable fins. Some members of the family, in particular the tunas, are notable for being partially endothermic (warm-blooded), a feature that also helps them to maintain high speed and activity.
Other adaptations include a large amount of red muscle, allowing them to maintain activity over long periods. Two of the fastest recorded scombrids are the wahoo and the yellowfin tuna, which can each attain speeds of .
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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.