The Remarkable Biology of the Oddly Shaped Sunfish

Stephanie Sammann of Real Science examines the remarkable biology of the oddly shaped, prehistoric-looking sunfish.

I remember the first time I ever saw a picture of an ocean sunfish on the cover of a Nat Geo magazine or something like that I was probably eight years old and I distinctly remember thinking why would they put a picture of a half-eaten fish on the cover of their magazine.

She further explains that this strange-looking mola with a truncated spine, a scaleless body, and a lack of dorsal fins, uses winglike fins to travel across and through the sea efficiently. They also are able to withstand extreme temperatures, particularly in the midnight zone where they forage for food.

They often go deep sometimes really deep all the way down into the midnight zone over a thousand meters down here the water is Just 4 degrees Celsius what the heck are … these fish were going so deep in order to forage specifically to forage gelatinous Plankton mostly deep water siphonophores.

The Insane Biology of Sunfish
Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.