Boschung, Herbert T. Formerly, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Last reviewed:September 2015
Show previous versions
- Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus)
- Atlantic chub mackerel (Scomber colias)
- Pacific chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus)
- King mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla)
- Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus)
- Bullet mackerel (Auxis rochei)
- Frigate mackerel (Auxis thazard)
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The common name for a number of perciform fishes in the family Scombridae, characterized by a long slender body, pointed head, and large mouth. The family Scombridae comprises mackerels and tunas. Mackerels have a fusiform and moderately compressed body, as well as certain other characteristics that adapt them for sustained high swimming speeds: the spinous dorsal fin is depressible in a groove in the back; the pectoral and pelvic fins are small and retractable in shallow depressions in the body; individuals possess minute cycloid scales, although they are partly absent in some species (in this case, the scales surround the anterior part of the body and are referred to as the corselet); the eyes are even with the surface of the head; the mouthparts fit snuggly against the head; and the gill covers fit snuggly against the body. These features eliminate almost all irregularities that would cause resistance to the water. The slender caudal peduncle, supported on each side by two keels or a third median keel (depending on the species), and the lunate caudal fin provide a powerful forward thrust. Mackerels are also recognized by finlets (independent multibranched rays, each appearing as a small fin) behind the dorsal and anal fins. See also: Adaptation (biology); Perciformes; Tuna
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information