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sailfish,common name for a marine game and food fish, genus Istiophorus, belonging to the family Istiophoridae and related to the marlinmarlin,
common name for open-sea fish related to the sailfish (family Istiophoridae) and prized in sport fishing. The best known is the Atlantic blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, found in the Gulf Stream as far north as Long Island. It may reach 1,000 lb (454 kg) in weight.
..... Click the link for more information. . It is named for its high, wide dorsal fin (or "sail"), colored deep blue with black spots. Like the marlin it has a pikelike upper jaw and small scales embedded in its skin. The average length is 6 ft (180 cm), though it may reach 10 ft (305 cm). The Pacific, or Indo-Pacific, sailfish (I. platypterus) grows to 100 lb (45 kg). The Atlantic sailfish, found north to Cape Cod in summer and sometimes classified as a separate species (I. albicans), averages 60 lb (27 kg) in weight. The dorsal fin is not normally erect while swimming but is raised when the sailfish is excited or threatened; it also is used to herd the small fish that the sailfish preys on. The bill is used to swat and confuse, stun, or injure prey. Sailfish are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Istiophoridae.
(Istiophorus platypterus,) a fish of the family Xi-phiidae of the order Perciformes. The sailfish reaches a length of 3.3 m and a weight of 100 kg. The upper jaw is spearlike, and the dorsal fin is high and resembles a sail. The ventral fins are long. When the sailfish moves rapidly, all the fins fold into special cavities. To make sharp turns, the fish raises it dorsal fin upright. The sailfish inhabits tropical and subtropical waters of all oceans. It is most commonly encountered in coastal waters and is an object of commercial and sport fishing. The sailfish feeds on other fishes and squid.