Mar 7, 2007

Holy Mola

Jared sent me this blog post, by Antonio Martínez Ron. I've heard of the ocean sunfish before, but Antonio's post does it some real justice. I suggest you read his write-up, but here are some highlights:

Photo from: Jens Kuhfs

The ocean sunfish (mola mola) is the largest bony fish in the world. It is a unique pelagic fish, and specimens of ocean sunfish have been observed up to 3.3 m (11 ft) in length and weighing up to 2,300 kg (5,100 lb).
Curiously, the Ocean Sunfish has a very small brain compared to its size: A 200 kg specimen may have a brain the size of a nut weighing only 4 g. It would explain their quiet behaviour and how often they get trapped into fisher nets.

...Giant sunfishes are an important menace for little ships. A collision at high speed can cause both injury to sailors and damage to yachts.

Photo from: Diving.LiveDoor.biz via Hiroto Kitagawa


















Finally, the flesh of the ocean sunfish contains neurotoxins similar to those of other poisonous tetraodontiformes, but it is considered a delicacy by some people.
Photo from: Stranypotapecske.cz










14 comments:

Callandrea said...

Interesting specimens!

On a non-sunfish related subject: Does the diver have devil horns/ cat ears on their wet suit?

bats said...

Good blog. I liked being able to see one actually swimming; I'd seen drawings and photos of a sun fish before, and I was never quite sure how they could get around (they always looked to me like "half a fish," missing the rear portion). For being a vertebrate, this is definitely of alien calibre.

scaredofgars said...

That fish needs to be in an animated movie.

noelle f. said...

I see you have 5+ blogs. Not sure which if any are current. I found your profile by searching for Sister Semba on Google. (It was on your blog from 2006) - is it the missionary that served on Temple Square?

Morgan said...

Bizarre... I was just about to send in this Ocean Sunfish picture, but decided to put it off. Procrastination has bad effects besides poor grades, it seems!
http://a446.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/20/l_4c8574506a690eecf198a343afeaca45.jpg

Tamora Pierce said...

Wow. It's an Elephant Man fish.

Arachnophile said...

WOW, it's been a LONG time since I've seen a picture of one of these. I live in Canada where hitting a moose on the highway is a total concern, after reading the info here, I'd call the Sunfish the Moose of the Sea. Mind-you I somehow think that it hurts the fish more than the yacht when a collision happens.

These guys are way-strange beasties, for shoo.

Raging Wombat said...

I like that, Moose of the Sea.

Sorry to beat you to the punch, Morgan.

I think those are horns on the diver's head.

Raging Wombat said...

Yes, noelle f., it is. Feel free to email me directly (from my link in my blog's sidebar).

Denita TwoDragons said...

Molas are also notorious for having massive amounts of external parasites on their sandpapery skin. Oh, and their tails never develop beyong the larval stage, so the rest of their body sort of grows around where their tail would have been, resulting in that bizarre "half-a-fish" look.

Oh, and they kinda remind me of a kid I knew in school...*LOL*

--TwoDragons

Jens Kuhfs said...

Hallo - You can see much more of my Mola Mola pictures... here
http://www.naturbilder.de/jenskuhfs/html/mondfisch_-_azoren.html
Jens

Jens Kuhfs said...

http://www.naturbilder.de/jenskuhfs/html/mondfisch_-_bali.html

Raging Wombat said...

Wow, thanks Jens. Those are some amazing photos!

Rorymc said...

I knew about sunfish but that first photo was like a face!