Sunfish – All About the Ocean Sunfish or Mola Mola

(Last Updated On: April 12, 2021)

According to wikipedia, Ocean Sunfish or the common mola (Mola mola) are some of the most widely known bony fish in the world. Adult weight is generally 247 to 1000 kg (545-22205 lb). The species is endemic to tropical and temperate waters around the world. It is analogous to the heads of a fish with a tail and its main body is longitudinally flat.

Ocean sunfish

Ocean sunfish

Ocean Sunfish or Mola Mola

Ocean Sunfish are generalist predators that take in large numbers of small fish, fish larvae, squid, and crustaceans. Once considered to be the primary victim of sunfish, C. jelly and salps, females of the make-up species can produce up to 300,000,000 eggs more than any other known spine, with only 15% of a sunfish diet. Sunfish Fry is analogous to larger pufferfish, larger in size. A matured sunfish doesn’t have a tail fin and body spines.

Adult ocean sunfish are vulnerable to some natural predators but will be consumed by sea lions, killer whales, and sharks. Among people, sunfish is considered a tasty meal in parts of the world, including Japan, Korea, Taiwan. In the EU, the regulations prohibit the sale of fish and fishery products obtained from the Molidi family. Sunfish are frequently caught in gillnets.

The ocean sunfish is the heaviest of all bony fishes

Ocean sunfish

Ocean sunfish are the heaviest of all bone fish. Its body is flat and about as tall as it is tall.

The different names of the sunfish refer to its flat form. Its specific name, mola is Latin for “millstone”, which resembles the fish because of its gray color, rough texture, and rounded body.

Its common English name, sunfish, refers to the habit of sunbathing on the surface of water. The names of the Dutch-, Portuguese-, French-, Catalan-, Spanish-, Italian-, Russian-, Greek- and German languages ​​are Manavis, Pericles Lua, Pison Lun, Pix Luna, Page Luna, Pace Luna, баыба-round, respectively.

And in reference to the circular shape of Mondfish, “Moonfish” refers to it. In German, the fish is also known as Schoemander Kauf, or “swimming head”. Its name in Polish is samogo, which means “head alone” because it has no real tail.

A sunfish skeleton

A sunfish skeleton


The softening fan of sea sunfish is replaced by a circular clavus, which forms a distinct cut of the body. The body is flattened longitudinally, when turned around, it forms a long oval shape.

The pectoral fins are short and feather-shaped, while the dorsal fin and anal fin are elongated, often as long as the fish are long. Samples up to 3.2 m (10.5 ft) in height were recorded.

The average length of mature sea sunfish is 1.8 m (5.9 ft) and a fin-to-fin length is 2.5 m (8.2 ft). Mature samples can weigh from 247 to one thousand kilograms (545 to 2,205 lbs), but larger ones are also unheard of.

The maximum size is 3.3 meters (10.8 feet) in length, 4.2 meters (14 feet) across the wings, and up to 2,300 kg (5,100 pounds) in mass.

Typical swimming position of a sunfish

Typical swimming position of a sunfish

Ocean Sunfish do not have a swimming bladder. Some sources suggest that internal organs contain a dense neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin, like organs of other toxic tetrodontiformities, while others dispute this claim.


During its evolution, the soft tail of the sunfish disappeared, instead of being replaced by a molten pseudotyle, clavus. This structure is composed of a combination of dorsal and anal fins and uses the fish as a rudder. The smooth-denture clavus holds up to 12 fin rays and ends in several rounded ossicles.

Ocean sunfish often swim near the surface, and their dorsal fins are sometimes mistaken as sharks. However, both can be separated with the speed of the fin.

Sharks, like most fish, swim off the ledge to the side while keeping the dorsal fin steady. Although the sunfish pulls a dorsal fin and anus fin at a characteristic scaling speed.

Rare Ocean Sunfish weighing 1.5 tons is stranded in Indonesia

Rare Ocean Sunfish weighing 1.5 tons is stranded in Indonesia

Ocean Sunfish Skin

Adult sunfish have a variety of skin patterns, from brown to silver-gray or white; Some of these patterns may be region-specific. The surface of the colored surface is often dark, with the counter-shades becoming insulated in a light shade as the glass form.

M. Mola also shows the ability to distinguish skin color from light to dark, especially when under attack. Large amounts of reticulated collagenous skin maybe 7.3 cm (2.5 inches) thick on the ventral surface and are covered by a layer of mucus instead of teeth and gums. The skin of the clavus is smoother than the body, where it can be as rough as sandpaper.

Sunbath sunfish

Sunbath sunfish

More than 40 species of parasites can be in the skin and internally and induce the fish to seek relief in various ways. One of the most frequent sea-sunfish parasites is the Flatworm Acquilium Contrum.

In temperate zones, floating calp fields remove parasites from the skin of cleaner clerus wasps and sunfish visiting other fish. In the tropics, M. Mola Reef seeks help with cleaning fishes.

Sitting beside it on the surface, the sunfish allows sea birds to feed in parasites from its skin. In an apparent attempt to remove embedded parasites, the sunfish was reported to have been violated by cleaning the surface by about 3 meters (10 feet).

A huge sunfish

A huge sunfish

Scope and behavior

Sunfish are generally available alone, but are also occasionally found in pairs.

Ocean sunfish are endemic to every ocean of the world and endemic to tropical waters. Genotypes of molars vary individually between the Atlantic and Pacific, but the genetic differences between individuals in the northern and southern hemispheres are very small.

Although preliminary studies suggest that sunfish are mainly flowing along the ocean currents, individuals have been recorded swimming at 26 km (5 mi) at a speed of 1.2 km / h (2.5 mi) a day.

Ocean Sunfish are light and can swim up to 600 meters (2,000 feet) deep. They are able to move faster to feed or avoid predators, to the extent that they can jump vertically out of the water.

Contrary to the notion that sunflowers spend most of their time on the surface, M. mola adults spend a large part of their lives actively at depths of more than 200 m (660 ft), occupying both epileptic and mesoplasmic regions.

On the upper sea surface

On the upper sea surface

Ocean Sunfish are often found in hot water more than 10 ° C (50 ° F); At temperatures as high as 12 degrees Celsius (54 degrees F) or lower, spending water can lead to blockage and eventually death.

Surface basking behavior, where a sunfish swims along its shore and presents its largest profile in front of the sun, can be a method of “heat recharging” in deep, cold water for dives to feed.

Visiting fish in cold water outside natural habitats, such as the southwest of England, maybe evidence of sea temperature rise, although the close proximity of the Gulf Stream to the southwest coast of England may mean that many visible results may also be carried by current fish to Europe.

Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola

Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola


The sea sunfish diet was initially thought to consist of different jellyfish. Genetic analysis, however, suggests that sunflowers are the generalist predators that consume large numbers of small fish, fish larvae, squid, and crustaceans, with only 15% of jellyfish and saline diets.

Occasionally they will swallow el grass. These food items indicate that many levels of sunflower fall from the surface to the deep water and sometimes to the sea in some areas.

A swimming Ocean Sunfish

A swimming Ocean Sunfish

Life cycle

Sunfish in the sea can live up to ten years in captivity, but their life in natural habitats has not been determined. Their growth rate is also determined. However, a young sample of the Monterey Bay Aquarium increased in weight from 26 to 399 kg (57 to 880 lbs) and reached a height of about 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in 15 months.

The perfect size and thick skin of any adult of the species prevent many small predators, but the small fish can be hunted by bluefin tuna and mahi mahi. Adults are consumed by sea lions, orca, and sharks.

The sea lions have been spotted hunting for sunfish for sport, ripping wings, throwing their bodies around, and then abandoning the still-living but helpless fish to simply die at sea level.

Majestic sunfish are photogenic

Majestic sunfish are photogenic

Mating practice is obscure but it occurs in different regions, such as North Pacific, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, South Pacific, as well as the Indian Ocean. The female can produce as many as 300 million eggs at a time than any other known spine. Eggs of sunfish are released into the water and fertilized externally by sperm.

The larvae of newly dispersed sunfish are only 2.5 mm (0.1 in) tall and weigh a fraction of a gram. They become fried and those who survive several million times their original size before reaching adulthood.

Sunfish fries, large pectoral fins, a tail fin, and body spines are obsolete for adult sunfish, much like their close-knit small lungs.

Young sunfish schools for protection, but as they grow, this behavior will be abandoned. By adulthood, their birth size is likely to increase by more than 60০ million times, the sharpest final increase in size for any vertebrate organism.

Human interaction

A sunfish was caught in 1910, with an estimated weight of 1600 kg (3500 lbs).

A sunfish caught in 1910, with an estimated weight of 1600 kg (3500 lb)

A sunfish caught in 1910 huge in size and created much curiosity among people

Despite their size, sea sunfish are perfect and are no threat to human divers. Injuries to the sunfish are rare, although there is some danger of the boat being drained out of the big sunfish; In one example, a sunfish landed on a 4-year-old boy when the fish boarded the boy’s family boat.

The places they usually visit are popular sports diving destinations and in some places sunfish fish have been known to be divers. Fish are more of a problem for boats than swimmers, as they can pose a risk to hydropower due to their large size and weight.

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In some parts of the world, the collision of sunfish is a common occurrence and can damage fish, as well as boat boats or large ship crews.

The meat of the sea sunfish is considered a taste in some regions, the largest markets are Taiwan and Japan. All parts of the sunfish, from the wings to the internal organs, are used in cooking. Certain parts of fish are used in some traditional medicine.

Under the European Union and the Council’s 853/2004 Policy (EC), fishery products produced from sunfishes are prohibited, as they contain poisonous to human health.

A dish made from the ocean sunfish

A dish made from the ocean sunfish

In captivity

Sunfish are not widely held in the aquarium exhibit, as they have unique and demanding care needs. Some Asian aquaria display the


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