Monday, May 9, 2011


The streamlined bodies of mackerel mean that these fish can swim very fast through the ocean. Mackerel are also highly maneuverable, which helps them to escape from potential predators.

Mackerel are active fish, spending their lives swimming, and they have developed a body shape for this purpose. Their body tapers at both ends, meaning they can swim through the water easily, with their curved rear ensuring there is little drag to slow them down. The scales on the body are very small, lessening water resistance. Even the bones of their jaws are arranged so as not to disrupt their streamlined profile. And their eyes are set deep within their sockets, rather than protruding. The two dorsal (back) fins along the back are small, and there are special grooves that allow these to be folded down when the mackerel is swimming quickly, which reduces drag. The part of the body connecting to the caudal (tail) fin, called the caudal peduncle, is narrow. The tail itself is tall, narrow, and rigid.This design is ideal for long-distance, highspeed
swimming. Keels on the caudal peduncle aid the movement of the tail through the water.

On the Move
Mackerel swim in shoals through open water. Their bodies are ideally suited for constantly being on the move, allowing them to accelerate rapidly if danger threatens. These fish are prey to many potential predators, ranging from penguins to humpback whales. However, their swimming abilities offer little protection against modern fishing methods, and people track and net mackerel in huge numbers.


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