Swordfish are large, distinctive fish found in oceans around the world. They are part of the billfish family, apex predators known for their long, flat bill that resembles a sword. But do swordfish have bones?
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Swordfish Anatomy Includes Bones
Yes, swordfish do have bones as part of their internal fish anatomy. Their skeletal structure includes:
- Vertebral column – runs the length of the body
- Caudal fin bones – in the tail
- Dorsal, anal, and pectoral fin bones
- Rib and skull bones
The iconic “sword” that gives them their name is actually an extension of the upper jaw bone. This distinct feature is made of dense bone and aids the fish in stunning and slashing prey.
While swordfish contain bones, they lack rib bones and pelvic fin bones. Their bones are also lighter and more flexible compared to land animals, an adaptation for living in the aquatic environment.
Powerful Hunting Ability
The swordfish’s sword-like upper jaw is particularly stiff and strong to withstand the high impact forces of striking fast-moving prey like tuna or squid. Although their bones are lightweight, the sword bone density provides the power they need to slash and stun prey with their long snout.
Meat Sold Boneless
Swordfish meat harvested for human consumption has the bones removed during processing. Fillet and steak cuts will be completely boneless once prepared.
So in summary, while swordfish do contain an internal bony skeleton, the swordfish meat sold in stores and restaurants will have all bones taken out before sale. Their bone structure provides anatomical support and enables their incredible hunting abilities using their prominent sword-like snout.