Welcome to You Ask Andy

Janice McMillar, age 11, of Montgomery, Ala.

What is a tuna fish like?

The tuna that comes to the table is a tasty fish dish  The meat is rich in body‑building proteins with sunshine vitamins hidden in its oily goodness  The tuna from which this sturdy meat comes is an ocean‑going fish, Some people say that the meat of the big bluefin tuna has the best flavor  But Andy and many others think that the meat of the yellow fin and the skip jack tunas are just as good 

The bluefin tuna, alias the tunny, is certainly the king of the tuna family  He is a mighty fellow, maybe ten feet long  He may weigh three quarters of a ton and the man to catch him must be quite a fisherman .

For the big tunny is a powerhouse of energy and muscle and he fights to the bitter end with all his strength 

The tunny is hatched in the Atlantic ocean not far from the proud rock of Gibraltar.   Along with countless young relatives, he soon begins to prowl far and wide  When fully grown, he will prowl the oceans of the entire world  He will hunt herring and smaller fish with a school of his friends and relative s, and wherever he goes, the mighty meat‑eater will be feared 

The back of the big tunny is glistening blue.  His underside is grey, blotched with silver  His smaller cousins are hatched off Central America or near the South Sea Islands  These fellows also prowl the seas in hungry packs, but they usually spend their entire lives in the waters of the Pacific Ocean 

The tunas are distant cousins of the silver‑blue mackerel, the graceful marlin and the long‑snouted swordfish  As a family, they are not very scaly fish  The tunas, in fact, seem to have no scales at all  If you touch the skin of a big tunny, you would feel only smooth, slippery slime.  

Actually, the tuna does have scales, though they are not in sight  He has very small scales buried below the surface of his skin 

Every tuna is built for speed, His body is streamlined from his tapered head to his tapered tail  His eyes and gill covers do not poke out to spoil his smooth, streamlined head  His slippery skin and smooth lines make 3t easy for the big fish to glide through the water„ The big tunny has a cruising speed of nine miles an hour, but when he wishes he can travel at 40 miles an hour 

 All this activity burns up food and the tunny is one of the hungriest animals in the sea  Activity also generates heat and the tuna has a body temperature higher than the water in which he swims, This is very rare, for fish are cold‑blooded animals  This strong and energetic animal, fast and handsome, is the tuna who provides our tuna meat.

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