Sunfish

CNN caught my attention with this image, originally published on the Facebook account of National Parks South Australia, of a large sunfish that washed up on an Australian beach.

Sunfish Washed Up On Australian Beach
Sunfish Washed Up On Australian Beach

According to Wikipedia,

The ocean sunfish or common mola (Mola mola) is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world. Adults typically weigh between 247 and 1,000 kg (545–2,205 lb). The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.

Sunfish are generalist predators that consume largely small fishes, fish larvae, squid, and crustaceans. Sea jellies and salps, once thought to be the primary prey of sunfish, make up only 15% of a sunfish’s diet. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate, up to 300,000,000 at a time. Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin, and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfis

Who needs sea monsters when the ocean is filled with things like this?

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