Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola)
June 13, 2013 2 Comments
Monterey Bay Aquarium occasionally has an ocean sunfish (Mola mola) on display in the Open Sea Exhibit. These fantastic fish have fins at the top and bottom, and a flattened tail at the back. They can get up to 10 feet long and weigh over 5,000 pounds. They increase their weight by 60 million times over their lifetime! Fast growth means that each ocean sunfish at the aquarium is only on display for about a year. At that point the fish must be airlifted out of the tank by helicopter to its freedom in Monterey Bay.
Ocean sunfish are related to pufferfish, and feast on jellyfish in the deep ocean. After diving they like to float sideways at the surface, basking in the warmth of the sun. They are famous for being very curious and approaching divers, and are found in temperate and tropical waters worldwide. More info is at: http://www.oceansunfish.org/index.php