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Mola-mola

Mola-mola
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The X-File

The X-File
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Jumaat, 20 November 2009

Mola-Mola,sun fish







Identification
The Ocean Sunfish is an unusual looking fish. It doesn't have a caudal fin. Instead it has a clavus, which is formed by extensions of the dorsal and anal fin rays. These take the place of a true tail fin which does not form. The clavus is broadly rounded and has low, rounded projections (called ossicles) which make up the margin.
The teeth in each jaw are fused to form a plate, and the mouth is small in

comparison to the body size.
Characters that help separate the species from the other four members of the family are the number of ossicles and the presence of a definite line at the posterior end of the body where the denticles on the skin change from extremely coarse to very fine. The clavus (tail frill) of the Ocean Sunfish has 12 fin rays. This is one of the characters that separate it from the other Australian species in the genus, Mola ramsayi, which has 16 fin rays.

The name Mola comes from the Latin word for millstone and refers to the rounded shape of the fish.

Size range
It grows to at least 3.3 m in total length but possibly as large as 4 m.
Similar Species
Mola ramsayi
Distribution
The Ocean Sunfish occurs in temperate marine waters worldwide.

In Australia, it has been recorded from the central coast of New South Wales to Tasmania and west to Mandurah, Western Australia.

The Ocean Sunfish belongs to the family Molidae and is one of three species recorded from New South Wales waters. The other two are the Southern Ocean Sunfish, Mola ramsayi, and the Slender Sunfish, Ranzania laevis. The fourth Australian species is the Sharptail Sunfish, Masturus lanceolatus. It occurs in southern waters of South Australia and Western Australia.
Habitat
Ocean Sunfish are usually found in oceanic waters, but occasionally come inshore. Sunfishes are often seen at the surface where they may be mistaken for sharks, because of the large dorsal fin.

Behaviour and adaptations
Feeding and Diet
Ocean Sunfish feed on jellyfish, salps, ctenophores and occassionally small crustaceans and fishes.

Life cycle
Larval ocean sunfish look quite different to adults.

At 2 mm long, Ocean Sunfish larva have a broad body shape. At this small size the Ocean Sunfish has a primordial tail fin, large pectoral fins and body spines. The spines are proportionally large up until a body length of at least 10 mm. At this size, an Ocean Sunfish looks less like the adult fish and more like the pufferfishes and boxfishes to which it is related.

The two photographs show anterior and lateral views of a 2.7 mm long larval Ocean Sunfish, trawled in the Pacific Ocean east of Taiwan in May 1981. Note that the spiny body is more compressed than the 1.84 mm long fish, but still less compressed than older fish.

By 35 mm in length, the body spines are much less prominent, the body is deeper and more compressed, and the beak-like teeth and clavus have developed. The adult Ocean Sunfish has no visible spines.


Mating and reproduction
Sunfishes are amazingly fecund fishes. A single adult female can produce up to 300 million tiny buoyant eggs. Fertilization occurs when eggs and sperm are shed into the water.

Predators, Parasites and Diseases
Numerous internal and external parasites were found in the September 11, 2002 autopsy. These sea lice Lepeophtheirus nordmanni are on the fish's tongue in the image.

Living with us
Economic/social impacts
Sunfishes are harmless to people.

In some areas, the Ocean Sunfish is a commercial species that is caught for human consumption.

On 13th October 1998, staff of the Australian Museum were called to examine an Ocean Sunfish, that was found stuck on the bulbous bow of the cement carrier, MV Goliath, as it tied up to the wharf in Sydney. The huge fish, which weighed approximately 1400 kg was removed from the bow of the ship by the Sydney Waterways Authority. The fish became stuck on the bow off Jervis Bay, New South Wales. It caused the speed of the ship to slow from 14 to 11 knots. The skin of the Ocean Sunfish was so rough it wore the ship's paint work back to the bare metal. The fish measured 3.1 m from the tip of the dorsal fin to the tip of the anal fin, and 2.5 m from the tip of the snout to the end of the clavus. Skin samples were taken from above the pectoral fin and near the tail. These are registered in the Australian Museum Ichthyology Collection as AMS I.38997-001 and AMS I.38997-002.

On September 11, 2002, a 1.8 m long Ocean Sunfish Mola mola washed up on Narrabeen Beach, northern Sydney, New South Wales. A team from National Parks and Taronga Zoo euthanased the dying fish and took it to the zoo for autopsy. The autopsy report stated that the fish was dying of starvation. The images were taken during the autopsy by Australian Museum Staff member Kerryn Parkinson. A range of tissue samples from the fish are now stored in the Australian Museum Fish Collection as AMS I.41536.

These Sunfish often meet their end by being struck by a ship. On 18 September 1908, the Steamer Fiona, was 65 km from Sydney when it suffered a ‘violent concussion’. A boat was lowered over the side and the men onboard saw a Sunfish jammed in the framework of the port propeller. The fish was the largest known at the time, measuring ’10 feet, 2 inches’ (3.1 m) in length and ’13 feet, 4 inches’ (4.1 m) in
height.
from articel..

2 ulasan:

  1. Ulasan ini telah dialihkan keluar oleh pengarang.

    BalasPadam
  2. I guys,

    Check mola mola page at
    http://skaphandrus.com
    a comprehensive catalogue of marine species to sea lovers.



    BalasPadam

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