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All About Sunfish

All About Sunfish - By Fatima


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 world. 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.


The caudal fin of the ocean sunfish is replaced by a rounded clavus, creating the body's distinct truncated shape. The body is flattened laterally, giving it a long oval shape when seen head-on. The pectoral fins are small and fan-shaped, while the dorsal fin and the anal fin are lengthened, often making the fish as tall as it is long. Specimens up to 3.3 m (10 ft 10 in) in height have been recorded.

The diet of the ocean sunfish was formerly thought to consist primarily of various jellyfish. However, genetic analysis reveals that sunfish are actually generalist predators that consume largely small fish, fish larvae, squid, and crustaceans, with jellyfish and salps making up only around 15% of the diet. Occasionally they will ingest eelgrass. This range of food items indicates that the sunfish feeds at many levels, from the surface to deep water, and occasionally down to the seafloor in some areas.

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