Blue marlins are among the largest, fastest, and most recognizable fish in the world. Their cobalt blue and silvery white bodies and spear-shaped upper jaws make this big fish stand out in a big ocean.
- Common Name:
- Blue Marlin
- Scientific Name:
- Makaira nigricans
- Group Name:
- Average Life Span:
- 27 years (females); 18 years (males)
- Up to 14 feet
- Up to 1,985 pounds
Just how big is a blue marlin? Female blue marlins can grow up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) in length and can weigh more than 1,985 pounds (900 kilograms)!
This incredible predator lives a solitary life from the time it is born. The mother lays her eggs in the open water and they float along until hatching with no parental care. From then on, the fish spends most of its life alone, far from land, in the warm surface waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. They can swim long distances and will follow warm ocean currents for hundreds and even thousands of miles.
Blue marlins usually feed at the surface where the water is warm, but they have been known to dive deep to feast on squid. To catch prey, blue marlins swim through dense schools of mackerel and tuna at full speed, slashing their upper jaw. They go back to the school to eat their stunned victims.