marlin, common name for open-sea fish related to the sailfish and swordfish (family Istiophoridae) and prized by sportsmen. The best known is the blue marlin of the genus Makaira, found in the Gulf Stream as far north as Long Island. It may reach 1,000 lb (454 kg) in weight. The upper jaw of the marlin extends into a long spike with which it clubs the small fish on which it feeds. The striped marlin of the Pacific reaches a weight of 300 to 400 lb (135–180 kg); the paler white marlin of the Atlantic rarely exceeds 100 lb (45 kg). Marlins are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Osteichthyes, order Perciformes, family Istiophoridae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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