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Mola Fish also called the Giant Ocean Sunfish, the Mola Mola fish is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It can weigh up to 5,000 pounds and grow to over 10 feet long. The Mola Mola is a pelagic fish, meaning it lives in the open ocean and is rarely seen near the shore. Its flattened body is oval-shaped and covered with large, rough scales. It has a dorsal fin but no tail fin. Its diet consists mainly of jellyfish, plankton, and small fish. The Mola Mola is found in tropical and temperate waters around the world. Also, it is a popular fish for aquariums due to its unique appearance and size.
When Mola mola hatches, it is a larval stage called anachronotus. The anachronotus is a small, transparent fish that swims near the surface of the water. During this stage, it feeds on plankton and small fish. After a few weeks of growth, the mola begins to transform into its adult form. This process takes around six months.
Once it reaches adulthood, the Mola Mola fish reach up to 30 times its birth weight and is ready to start its own reproduction cycle. They usually spawn in groups. The female releases between 300,000 and 500,000 eggs at once, which are fertilized externally by the males. The eggs are buoyant and stay near the surface of the water. After a few days, the eggs hatch, and the larval stage begins. Their shape is unusual and they lack some of the physical characteristics seen in other fish. They also do not have any natural predators due to their size and their habit of basking in the sun on the surface of the water.
The skin parasites in mola skin are also a threat to their health. When they get infected, the parasites attach to their skin and cause inflammation and irritation. Then, the mola tend to seek out the sun to heat up the affected area in an attempt to get rid of the bacteria. It’s also another reason why they’re called “sunfish”. Besides the thwack movement when they jump and hit the surface water back to shake the parasites, they also float their bodies on both sides to allow gulls birds to land and pick off the pests. If the parasites become hard to handle, they even swim to another area to invite other small fishes to eat the pests as food and wait until the problem clears up.
The Mola Mola fish is listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This is due to its slow rate of reproduction. It has become a target of commercial fisheries and is vulnerable to overfishing. The IUCN has taken steps to protect the Mola Mola, including the creation of protected areas where fishing is not permitted.
Overall, the Mola Mola is an amazing species and its sheer size and unique characteristics make it a fascinating fish to observe. It is an important specie to the world’s marine ecosystems and a reminder of the constant struggle of sea species to survive in a rapidly changing ocean.
More interesting articles about ocean:
- Green Sea Turtle
- Red Knot Shorebird and the biodiversity
- New York Harbor’s Oysters
- 5 Animals to see in the Australian Great Barrier Reef
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