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Mola Mola

Mola Mola
Photo Information
Copyright: John Samson (sumo) (23)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-16
Categories: Fish
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Underwater Wonder World 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-09 11:32
Viewed: 5027
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Saw this Mola Mola or sunfish in Walvisbay in Namibia. Per the note from Wikipedia below these can weigh up to 1,000 kilograms. I think this was quite a small one as it was about 1.5m long.

From Wikipedia:

The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola is the heaviest bony fish in the world, with an average weight of 1,000 kilograms or about 2,200 lbs. The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head without a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long, when their dorsal and anal fins are extended.

Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish. As this diet is nutritionally poor, they consume large amounts in order to develop and maintain their great bulk. Females of the species can produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate. Sunfish fry resemble miniature pufferfish, with large pectoral fins, a tail fin and body spines uncharacteristic of adult sunfish.

Adult sunfish are vulnerable to few natural predators, but sea lions, orcas and sharks will consume them. Among humans, sunfish are considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, including Japan and Taiwan, but sale of their flesh is banned in the European Union.[1] Sunfish are frequently, though accidentally, caught in gillnets, and are also vulnerable to harm or death from encounters with floating trash, such as plastic bags.

A member of the order Tetraodontiformes which includes pufferfish, porcupinefish and filefish, the sunfish shares many traits common to members of this order. It was originally classified as Tetraodon mola under the pufferfish genus, but it has since been given its own genus, Mola, with two species under it. The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, is the type species of the genus.

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To AnimalExplorer: Mola Molasumo 1 01-09 13:03
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,
Wow! That is a very big fish. I was wondering if anyone was going to post this really strangely shaped looking fish eventually on TN, I remember doing an origami model based on this animal. TFS. Paul :)

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  • meyerd Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 585 W: 64 N: 2238] (7531)
  • [2008-01-09 12:07]

Hi John,
there are not many pictures of freeliving Sunfish but you provided one here, thank you for that. It is not of super quality what with the turbid water and the agitated water surface, but never mind. It's one hell of an impressive and strange animal. Thanks for the detailed note too.
My best regards

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