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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Black Marlin For Kids

Black Marlin Facts a highly prized favorite game fish

The black marlin has its name on the list of some of the speeiest swimmers on the earth. Found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, black marlins are one of the ten species of marlins. To watch a giant black marlin leaping out of deep-sea blue waters is a truly spectacular, unforgettable experience. Famous as a game fish, the black marlin is highly prized among sports fishermen too.

With black dorsal and a silvery-white underneath, they are cousins of the swordfish and sailfish and, like other billfishes, have long bills. Female black marlins are larger than their male counterparts. These black marlin are commercially fished for their expensive meat and are a favorite dish of many who love eating fish. These beautiful fishes are abundant in sea waters, but with the increase in the fishing of marlins, this species will soon become a rarity if proper steps are not taken now.

If you like this article and find it informative then you can read about the swai fish and anchovies too!

Black Marlin Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black marlin?

The black marlin is one of the ten fish species from the family Istiophoridae, which is closely related to the swordfish and sailfish in appearance. A shorter bill, lower dorsal fin, and rigid pectoral fins are the distinguishing features of a black marlin. Also, the black marlin does not have retractable fins.

What class of animal does a black marlin belong to?

Black marlins belong to the class Actinopterygii. The scientific name of a black marlin is Istiompax indica. Bony or horny spined fins and non-fleshy fins are other distinguishing features. The black marlin can not press flat their rigid pectoral fins (which weigh around 150 lb (68 kg)) to their sides.

How many black marlins are there in the world?

With insufficient data available on the population of black marlins, it is difficult to know the exact numbers. But these marlins are widely found in the Indo-Pacific oceans.

Where do black marlins live?

The black marlin lives in the oceans. They are found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean. Sometimes they also enter temperate waters for feeding.

What is a black marlin's habitat?

The black marlin lives above the thermocline, in shallow waters most of the time. They prefer to be close to the land and coral reefs. However, they can swim to a depth of almost half a mile (900 m). The black marlin is a migratory species and is occasionally found in the Atlantic Ocean but prefers breeding in the Indo-Pacific waters.

Who do black marlins live with?

The black marlin prefers to swim alone but occasionally can be seen in pairs. Juveline fish school together for a certain period of time, but adults mostly keep to themselves except during the breeding season. During the breeding season, comparatively smaller males follow larger females to the spawning areas.

How long does a black marlin live?

Female black marlins live up to the age of 12 years, whereas the lifespan of the male black marlin is just about five years.

How do they reproduce?

Black marlins reproduce by external spawning. The females release around 40 million eggs into the waters in batches during the breeding season. And the males release their sperm to fertilize these eggs. The tiny larvae fish hatch in two days and easily fall prey to predators without any parental care. They school together for a year or so, but only a few of these manage to become adults. Predators eat the eggs and larvae, hence why females release such a large number of eggs.

What is their conservation status?

Data on the population of black marlin fish in the world is insufficient. Hence, its status is Not Evaluated.

Black Marlin Fun Facts

What do black marlins look like?

Just like this blue marlin, the black marlin beautifully leaps out of the sea.
Please note that this is an image of a blue marlin, not a black marlin. If you have an image of a black marlin, please let us know at [email protected]

They look like swordfish and sailfish and have a resemblance with other species of marlin fishes, but they have rigid pectoral fins, unlike other marlin fishes. The dorsal of the black marlin is black, and the belly or the lower half is silvery-white in color.

How cute are they?

With a black upper body and a white lower body, black marlins are cute animals to watch when they leap out of the ocean.

How do they communicate?

Marlins supposedly communicate by sending mind waves to each other. Not much information is available on this and research is ongoing.

How big is a black marlin?

Black marlin size varies between the two genders. The black marlin can grow to a length of 15.3 ft (4.65 m). A female Black Marlin weighs up to 992 lb (450 kg) whereas males weigh up to 440 lb (200 kg) only. They grow really fast, and a small juvenile fish reaches around 33 lb (15 kg) by the end of their first year. Comparatively, they are smaller than tiger sharks.

How fast can a black marlin swim?

The black marlin speed is said to be faster than that of a cheetah. The black marlin can swim between 20 to 50 miles per hour, and a few records project that a large one can go up to 80 miles per hour.

How much does a black marlin weigh?

A black marlin weighs between 440-992 lb (200-450 kg). Females are larger than males and are almost double their size. A black marlin that weighs over 1,000 lb is known as a 'grander'.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Both the male and female species of black marlin do not have any specific names allotted to them separately.

What would you call a baby black marlin?

A baby black marlin is not given any special name and is just referred to as a baby black marlin.

What do they eat?

The black marlin prefers small tuna fish but also feeds on cuttlefish, squid, mackerel, and octopuses. They kill their prey by slashing their body with their sharp bills.

Are they dangerous?

One of the largest bony fish, the black marlin is one of the top predators of the seas. So yes, they are dangerous and can be aggressive, especially with anglers.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they are one of the largest and fastest marine animals and are best left in ocean waters. Despite this, they are a favorite among recreational anglers as game fish.

Did you know...

A black marlin that turns blue is a common phenomenon observed in this species. The colors presented by the marlin are one of their most spectacular features. Under a microscope, a marlin has tiny crystal-like structures punctuated by dark cells known as melanophores under the mucous layer. When agitated, the melanophores of a black marlin become contracted to make the tiny crystals reflect light. The light reflected off the marlin is dark blue because of the diffraction pattern of the crystals.

Black marlin vs blue marlin comparisons are really interesting! The blue marlin, is endemic to the Atlantic Ocean and is closely related to the black marlin. A blue marlin prefers open sea away from land, unlike the black marlin. Both species have many similarities with only very few differences in their body color and shape of the fins.

The black marlin is worth about $31,000 per lb. Very expensive, right?

One of the fastest fish in the world

At a record speed of 82 miles per hour, the black marlin is said to be one of the fastest fishes on earth. There is a disagreement among experts on which is the fastest one between sailfish and black marlin, but undoubtedly black marlin fish are known for their speed and they're truly fast animals.

The extremely streamlined body of a black marlin with its fusiform shape and rigid semilunate tail powering it through the water are the features that make a black marlin so fast. The fusiform shape means that the fish is wider in the middle part of the body and tapered at the ends. Its semilunate (half moon-like) tail is the reason that it can take those wonderful spinning leaps out of the water.

Black marlin and fishing

Black marlin are among the most sought-after fish and are a favorite among sports fishermen. Their popularity as a game fish can be seen by world-class tournaments that take place surrounding the fish. The International Game Fish Association currently holds the world record for the biggest black marlin catch at 1,560 lb. This was caught by Alfred Glassell Jr in 1953, while fishing off Cabo Blanco, Peru.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including codfish, or fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Black Marlin coloring pages.

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