Sunny Side Up

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It was not just us intent on grasping the remaining rays of summer this weekend. On travelling back from a dive on the Julia T Sunday morning, our skipper caught a glimpse of a rarely seen fin in the distance…that of an ocean sunfish or mola mola.  

Cillian donned mask and fins for a quick entry into the water to get some footage. click the link below to play. 

Sunfish At Scubadive West, Sunday 29th August 2010

A quick search on Wikipedia this morning returned the following:

The ocean sunfish, Mola mola, or common mola, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). The species is native to tropical and temperate waters around the globe. It resembles a fish head with a tail, and its main body is flattened laterally. Sunfish can be as tall as they are long when their dorsal and ventral fins are extended.

Sunfish live on a diet that consists mainly of jellyfish, but because 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.[1] 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, the Korean peninsula and Taiwan, but sale of their flesh is banned in the European Union.[2] 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.

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