Free Content A Black Marlin, Makaira Indica, from the Early Pleistocene of the Philippines and the Zoogeography of Istiophorid Billfishes

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A nearly complete articulated head (including pectoral and pelvic girdles and fins) was collected from an Early Pleistocene, upper bathyal, volcanic ash deposit on Tambac Island, Northwest Central Luzon, Philippines. The specimen was positively identified because of its general resemblance to other large marlins and by its rigid pectoral fin, a characteristic feature of the black marlin. This is the first fossil billfish described from Asia and the first living species of billfish positively identified in the fossil record.

The geographic distribution of the two living species of Makaira is discussed. Except for fossil localities bordering the Mediterranean Sea, the distribution of fossil post-Oligocene istiophorids roughly corresponds to the distribution of living adult forms.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 1983

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