Information

The moonfish - Wanted poster


Characteristics

Surname: Sunfish
Other names: Sea moon, sunfish
Latin name: Mola mola
class: Fishes
size: up to 3 m
mass: up to 2000 kg
Older: about 100 years
Appearance: gray, brown to greenish skin
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: ?
food: Fish, plankton, jellyfish, starfish, cuttlefish
distribution: worldwide
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: ?
habitat: Ocean, sea
natural enemies: Sea lions, sharks and orcas
sexual maturity: unknown
mating season: unknown
oviposition: up to 300 million eggs per spawning process
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: Yes (status: endangered)
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting facts about the sunfish

  • The moonfish or mola mola, also called sea-moon or sun-fish, describes a kind within the puffer-feline-relatives, which is world-wide spread.
  • As the planet's heaviest bone fish, it can reach a maximum body length of over three meters and a height of up to four meters, weighing in at over two tons. Such large specimens are rarely spotted.
  • The sunfish is pelagic and can be found in the warm zones of the Atlantic as well as in the Pacific, in the North Sea, parts of the Baltic Sea and in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The warming of the earth leads to the fact that moonfish are also increasingly sighted in colder regions such as the British Isles.
  • The sunfish is of conspicuously clumsy, compressed physique and has a disc-like, flattened laterally to the tail shape.
  • He has neither ventral fins nor swim bladder, the caudal fin is transformed into a wave-hemmed hem.
  • Only the anal fin and the strikingly large dorsal fin, which are provided with several fin rays, serve for locomotion.
  • When sunfish come to the surface, their large dorsal fin often confuses them with sharks.
  • The gray, greenish or brown skin of the sunfish is not covered with scales and can be up to six inches thick.
  • On the skin live up to fifty kinds of different micro-organisms, many of them as parasites. The dense population often causes the skin of the moonfish to light up.
  • Lunar fishes feed on jellyfish, small fish and squid, plankton and salpe, which they capture at depths of about five hundred meters.
  • At regular intervals, the sunfish migrates to shallower areas near the coast to be cleansed by cleaner fish.
  • In the course of spawning, up to three hundred million eggs can be released into the water per females, which have a diameter of only one millimeter.
  • The larvae are at the time of hatching only three millimeters long and have several spines to protect against predators.
  • Scientists suggest that the maximum life expectancy of the sunfish is up to one hundred years.