Suborder

CHAPTER

phylum class subclass order monotypic order O suborder family

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Barracudas, tunas, marlins, and their relatives have streamlined bodies. They are medium-sized (about 2 feet or 61 centimeters) to huge (16 feet or 5 meters) and are extremely fast swimmers. Some can leap high out of the water. Some of these fishes have nets of tiny blood vessels in their bodies that help them keep cool during their intense physical efforts.

GEOGRAPHIC RANGE

Barracudas, tunas, marlins, and their relatives live all over the world.

HABITAT

Most barracudas, tunas, marlins, and their relatives live in the open sea, usually near the surface. Some live in middle depths, and some live in estuaries (EHS-chew-air-eez), or the areas where rivers meet the sea. One species moves long distances upriver.

DIET

Most barracudas, tunas, marlins, and their relatives hunt for fish, squid, and crustaceans (krus-TAY-shuns), or waterdwelling animals that have jointed legs and a hard shell but no backbone. Some eat plankton, or microscopic plants and animals drifting in water.

BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION

Some barracudas, tunas, marlins, and their relatives form large schools, but others live alone. They all spawn in groups. The eggs

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