Difference Between Swordfish and Marlin

Both marlin and swordfish belong to the billfish category of fish that can grow to more than 14 feet long. However they differ in their looks and shape as they make two distinct species of the billfish family. Marlin has a long, tubular body, whereas a swordfish has an elongated body which is more round than the former. Marlin can weigh up to 680 kilograms as compared to a swordfish that can weigh up to 450 kilograms. The former’s snout is smooth and round while the latter has a long and flat snout. The dorsal fin of a marlin looks like that of a sail, whereas a swordfish’s dorsal fin resembles more of a shark. The pectoral fins of a swordfish are clearly visible, while that of a marlin are hardly visible.


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    A swordfish, also called broadbill or broadbill swordfish in some regions, is a large marine fish that is characterised by a long, flat bill. Swordfish averages 7 to 15 feet in length, with the long bill or sword taking up almost 1/3 of the fish length. Interestingly, female swordfish are larger than their male counterparts. Moreover, pacific swordfish reach a greater size than the one found in the Mediterranean Sea in the northwest Atlantic ocean.

    These highly migratory, predatory fish are typically found in the tropical or clement parts of the sea throughout the world, particularly in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It can be found near the surface to a depth of 1,800 feet in the sea. By the time a swordfish reaches adulthood it loses all teeth and scales. Swordfish usually have brownish to black bodies but their ventral parts are whitish.

    - Image courtesy: top10hm.com

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    Marlin is a marine game fish belonging to Istiophoridae family, known for a great fighting ability. It is a large fish with a tubular body, a spear like snout or bill and a tapering back fin. Tail of a marlin resembles that of a crescent moon. With an average length of 14 feet, the Pacific black marlin is considered to be the largest of all known marlin species. Other larger species include Makaira nigricans and Atlantic blue marlin. The blue Atlantic marlin on average weighs 360 kilograms whereas the average weight of white marlin is just 68 kilograms. Marlin are incredibly fast swimmers and can reach speeds of over 100 kilometres per hour. These fish typically inhabit tropical areas.

    - Image courtesy: top10hm.com

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