The oesophagus is provided often with caeca which in Syllids and Hesionidae have been found to contain air, and possibly therefore perform the function of the fish's air-bladder.
European mackerel are of two kinds, of which one, the common mackerel, Scomber scomber, lacks, while the other possesses, an air-bladder.
But, on the ground of their air-bladder being closed, or deprived of a pneumatic duct communicating with the digestive canal, such as is characteristic of the Malacopterygians, they were removed from them and placed with the flat-fishes, or Pleuronectidae, in a suborder Anacanthini, regarded as intermediate in position between the Acanthopterygians, or spiny-finned fishes, and the Malacopterygians.
These are a chain of small bones belonging to the first four vertebrae, which are much modified, and connecting the air-bladder with the auditory organs.
The air-bladder may be so reduced as to lose its hydrostatic function and become subservient to a sensory organ, its outer exposed surface being connected with the skin by a meatus between the bands of muscle, and conveying the thermobarometrical impressions to the auditory nerves.