Physical characteristics

Perciform fishes with epiotic bones of the skull separated from each other by the supraoccipital bone; gill membranes

A school of barracuda in defensive behavior surround a diver in the Bismarck Sea near Papua New Guinea. (Photo by Jeff Rotman/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)
Tuna can regulate their temperature through blood flow. Increased blood flow in vessels near the skin allows heat to dissipate into the environment, cooling the fish. (Illustration by Jonathan Higgins)

free from the isthmus; premaxillae beak like, upper jaw not protrusile, predorsal bones lost (except for a small one in Ru-vettus, Thyrsites, and Tongaichthys, and three well-developed ones in Gasterochisma); second epibranchial bone of pharyngeal arch extending over top of the third infrapharyngob-ranchial bone (except in Gasterochisma); 24 or more vertebrae; interorbital commissure of the supraorbital lateral line canals incomplete or absent

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