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Pacific bonito

Pacific bonito

On Exhibit: Open Sea

Animal Facts

  • Scientific Name

    Sarda chiliensis

  • Animal Type


  • Diet

    fishes, squid, krill

  • Size

    3.3 feet (1 meter)

  • Relatives

    other mackerels and tunas; family: Scombridae

  • Habitat

    Open Waters

  • Range

    worldwide in tropical and temperate waters

At the Aquarium

Life is good on exhibit for our Pacific bonito and many other fish—sometimes too good! Our aquarists take care not to allow some fishes to overeat and grow too large. As a result, our bonito are fed a special gel, prepared in our kitchen, that's nutritious but low in fat.

Natural History

Bonito are one of the smallest tunas—their size and striped surface distinguish them from their larger cousins. They avoid predators by gathering in large schools, usually close to the surface. Like other tunas, they can travel great distances. 

Bonito favor warm waters—in the winter, they follow warm-water currents south. They're big eaters, dining on fishes (especially anchovies) and squid. They grow quickly, consuming about six percent of their body weight each day.

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