Let's get to know "Mola Mola", what is the name? I have never heard of it at all, will there be such a strange name? Maybe we should put it another way, sunfish, sunfish, so you always understand it.
Mora mora is its Latin academic name, Latin for "grinding stone", from the meaning of the word to explain the appearance and color of the sunfish, but also quite graphic.
People who live by the sea may not be unfamiliar with this creature, and in good weather, they can be seen floating motionless on the surface of the sea, looking like a very large fish head. But from the biological chain, they really can only choose to be eaten, sea lions, sharks and anything can eat a bite.
Recent photo of the rollover pufferfish
They may be the stupidest fish in the world, and even if they are bitten, they will not choose to escape. What kind of fish is a sunfish with a strange appearance and such a strange life state? Why do they float on the surface of the sea? Do sunfish have predatory abilities? How do people perceive the sunfish as a way of life?
This article will answer these questions from the ecological research of the sunfish and the biological habits of the sunfish, and let's take a look at why the sunfish has not become extinct after suffering these treatments.
Sea lions nibbling on sunfish
Floating ocean fish heads
The sunfish is one of the more bizarre-looking sea creatures, and people prefer to call it a sunfish because it has only one head, almost no body, and floats on the water to look like a tipping scene.
However, the sunfish does not only have a head, it just specializes in its own body, and the reason why it has grown into the strange shape it has today is because they are not born with a dorsal fin. And as they grow larger, the bodies fold up on their own to look like a round rudder.
The rudder appearance of the sunfish
They belong to the bony fish family, and include three genera, there is no limited word to describe different species of sunfish, in short, this fish is called the sunfish, the name is as casual as it looks. Taxonomy is further down in tetradondontidae , so their close relatives can be puffer fish or silver carp.
At the same time, the sunfish is also the heaviest fish in the teleost fish family, and in previous specimen records, the largest sunfish has a vertical height of 4 meters, a body length of 3 meters, and a weight of about 2 tons.
This is not common in bony fish, although the early bony fish family is very large and has a very ancient history, but they have evolved and extinct events, and the bony fish family is now dominated by small and medium-sized fish.
Compared to puffer fish, it really looks like a family
They are not to blame for looking like this, it is basically related to natural selection, but scientists do not understand why they have given up their dorsal fins. Although the sunfish belong to the teleost fish species, its bones are mainly cartilage tissue, so it weighs less than the bony fish, which gives them the opportunity to grow to the size of the average bony fish.
The tail fin and dorsal fin that disappeared during evolution were replaced by a false tail, and the dorsal fin and fin converged to form the main torso of the sunfish, which resembled the rudder on a ship, relying on swinging water currents to gain thrust. Their toothed collarbone retains an additional 12 fins and forms small, rounded segments.
The skeleton structure of the sunfish
Because of this alienated physiological structure, they are inferior to other fish in terms of mobility, and they have to swing the dorsal and fins in a characteristic paddle-like movement to form a forward momentum. What's hilarious is that the special physiological structure of the sunfish often makes people mistakenly think that their fin is the dorsal fin of the shark.
In addition, their skin is also very special, most fish skin will be covered with many scales, of course, there will be special skins such as sharks. But the skin of the sunfish is composed mainly of a large amount of reticular collagen and is very rough. The epidermis is also covered with a layer of mucus, which is an aqueous secretion that helps the sunfish boost its immunity.
The human stomach also has a similar mucus
In the bony fish family, I am afraid that they are the only ones who are masters of "swinging rot", even if they are eaten by predators, the sunfish will not resist, let alone escape, and the ancestors of the bonefish will have to drill out of the mud to give it two tails. Why would a sunfish face an attack in this way?
"Screwing up" is also a survival strategy
In fact, it's not that the sunfish don't resist, it's that they can't resist. Because of their attack capabilities, the sunfish have a beak-like tooth plate on the chin of their mouth and a curved pointed pharyngeal tooth, and nothing else. This also makes them can only eat some jellyfish, seaweed, small fish and shrimp, too hard and too big to eat.
Close-up of the mouth of the tipper
When you encounter hunters like sea lions, killer whales, and sharks, it is useless to run, but there is no way to run. As mentioned earlier, the way the sunfish moves comes from its special physiological structure, but this way only allows them to swim at a speed of 3 to 4 meters per hour, and the snails on the seabed run faster than them. Most of the time they can only rely on the movement of ocean currents to increase their speed, and at this speed, starfish says that if they try harder, they will be able to do the same as me.
The tipping flounder walks in place
Some people may wonder, isn't this equivalent to an undersea buffet, why is the sunfish not extinct? Don't worry, the Sunfish says it has a secret weapon to use against predators. Raw, but vigorous, as long as there are enough offspring, it is not afraid of being eaten.
Scientists don't know much about the mating methods of the sunfish, but after studying the spawning sites of the sunfish, they learned that a female sunfish can produce 300000000 eggs, and the queen is scared when she sees it. This powerful fertility is greater than any known vertebrate.
From the North Atlantic and the South Atlantic to the Pacific, South Pacific and Indian Oceans, these areas are breeding grounds for the sunfish. With this in mind, the sunfish stands at the top of fertility. In terms of survival rate, the survival rate of one in a thousand is enough on this number of fish eggs, and coupled with juvenile premature death and predation, the survival of the sunfish can still reach tens of thousands.
Close-up "childhood photo" of the sunfish
However, most predators do not use sunfish as their main food, which is another reason for their survival. Sunfish are prone to parasitic infections because of their slow movements. Bifidchial flukes, broad-based tapeworms, flatworms, etc. are the main parasites of the sunfish, and there are parasites from the outer skin to the inner digestive tract.
In addition, the internal organs of the sunfish may also contain tetrodotoxin, which is not as rich as the pufferfish, but this also brings them some toxicity. Coupled with the thick epidermal tissue, full of skin and parasites in one bite, there are several predators who will actively eat sunfish. What is their daily life like? Does the sunfish floating on the surface of the sea mean that they are going to die?
The sunfish said they were in the backstroke
Rollovers do not roll over
The strange problem with the sunfish is that they do not have swim bladders, an organ that can help fish dive and float, but sunfish do not. Since the sunfish are mainly made of cartilage, floating is not difficult for them, but the sunfish sometimes dive to depths of several hundred meters.
Excessive water pressure can put pressure on the maw, so the sunfish does not retain the organ, but relies on the thick skin to withstand the pressure of the deep sea. Most of the time, however, the sunfish float on the surface of the sea, and occasionally seabirds park on top of the sunfish.
Scientists have found through research that this is actually the survival strategy of the sunfish. Because there are so many parasites in the body, sunfish must rely on some way to remove them, and basking in the sun is a good way to attract seabirds in addition to disinfecting themselves with ultraviolet rays.
"Go to the sunfish for an hour snack"
When seabirds dock on top of the sunfish, they begin to look for parasites lurking on the sunfish. In addition, they can also jump out of the water like other fish, also to shake off parasites, but they are not high, only about 3 meters, and sometimes jump into the boat.
Although the sunfish are not aggressive, it is still quite painful to be patted like this, not to mention that most of the sunfish can grow to hundreds of pounds, and the boat will overturn if it is not good. Some people may be thinking of the idea of catching this fish, or the old saying, this fish should be delicious, and it will be served on the table earlier. Not to mention the handling of these fish skins, there is also the potential for tetrodotoxin, and the market for sunfish does not have much potential.
The sunfish market doesn't have much potential
However, in recent years, the number of sunfish is declining, but first of all, we can rule out that it is not eaten, after all, it is still very difficult to eat such a raw fish. The main reason is marine pollution, and sunfish sometimes eat plastic bags as jellyfish, which can cause them to suffocate.
So you see, although the sunfish is "stupid", people have gained the initiative by relying on super-life. However, it has not been able to leave the influence of human beings, to say that natural enemies, no matter what animals, human beings are the most terrifying. The life force of the species can be seen from the sunfish, and we cannot ignore the threat posed by environmental pollution to them.
The sunfish did not roll over, and it was the humans themselves who could not get the future over.