Thursday, May 30, 2024

Giant sunfish spotted last year believed to be world’s largest bony fish

Fishermen and boaters saw the huge creature floating near the Azores islands last December

News Desk: dhakamirror.com

Photo courtesy: Atlantic Naturalistic Association

In last December, Portuguese scientists learned that fishermen and boaters noticed a dead sunfish in the central North Atlantic. When researchers saw the carcass near Faial Island in the Azores, they nearly couldn’t believe it.

Scientists say the bump-head sunfish (Mola alexandrini) is the biggest bony fish ever found. The fish weighed 6,050 pounds, 882 pounds more than the previous record-holder, a 5,070 pound sunfish off the coast of Japan in 1996.

A new publication in the Journal of Fish Biology provides more facts about the enormous sunfish found in the Azores last year.

Bony fish are the 29,000 aquatic species with skeletons comprised at least partially of bone, not cartilage.These swimmers range in size from pygmy goby to sunfish. More than 90% of fish are bony, excluding rays, sharks, and other cartilaginous fish.

Sunfish have spherical bodies, dorsal and anal fins, and a peculiar circular rudder called a clavus, says National Geographic. Their rough, gray skin attracts parasites.

Sunfish are clumsy swimmers and can’t fully seal their mouths, which are tiny compared to their bodies. Sunfish eat jellyfish, algae, zooplankton, and small fish.

Massive sunfish near the ocean’s surface are commonly mistaken for sharks. Sunfish are harmless, yet curious.

In 2018, bump-head sunfish became a separate species. They’re connected to Mola mola but twice as heavy.

Scientists in the Azores hauled the giant sunfish to shore and forklifted it. Once the fish was airborne, they weighed it with a crane-suspended cargo scale. They also took measurements and DNA samples.

Scientists couldn’t determine if the huge creature was male or female, but it was 10.67 feet long, 11.78 feet tall, and 2.82 feet wide in the middle.Researchers think the fish is at least 20 years old but can’t be sure.

“It must have been a ruler of the open ocean,” says study author José Nuno Gomes-Pereira.

Scientists buried the fish at Faial Island’s Natural Park after examining it. Scientists found a wound containing red boat paint on the dead animal. A vessel accident may have contributed to the sunfish’s demise, but it may have happened after it died.

The giant fish proves that the oceans can still support such a behemoth. Human activities like climate change may change that.

“Big fish are rare due to overfishing and habitat destruction,” says Kory Evans, a fish biologist at Rice University who wasn’t involved in the study.

– Input from Smithsonian was used in this article

Related News

Over 50 pilot whales die in mass stranding in Australia

Earth Desk : dhakamirror.com Nearly 100 pilot whales stranded on a beach in Western Australia on Tuesday. Australian officials said 51 pilot whales had died as of Wednesday. The 51 long-finned pilot whales were part of a pod of almost 100 spotted off Cheynes Beach near Albany, about 400km south-east of Perth on Tuesday. Experts ... Read more

Humble Humboldt penguins, the excellent swimmers

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Originally from South America, the Humboldt penguin lives on the coasts of Peru and Chile. Its closest relatives are the African penguin, the Magellanic penguin and the Galpagos penguin. Humboldt penguins are extremely sociable, inquisitive and communicative birds, some would even say they are the friendliest of them all. These birds ... Read more

Six more lions speared to death by Kenyan herders

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Six lions have been killed by herders in a national park in southern Kenya, in a blow to conservation efforts and the tourism industry which is a key pillar of the nation’s economy. The killings, which took place close to the Amboseli National Park, came just days after a wild lion, ... Read more

Wild lion Loonkiito, ‘one of the world’s oldest’, killed by humans in Kenya

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A wild male lion believed to be one of the world’s oldest has died after being speared by herders, authorities in Kenya have said. The 19-year-old lion had lived in Amboseli National Park, Kenya, but died when he went alone to a nearby village in search of food and attacked livestock. ... Read more

Tiger populations are expected to increase

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The number of tigers in the Sundarbans is expected to increase due to successful conservation efforts in the world’s largest mangrove forest, officials said. Forest Department officials involved in the ongoing tiger census said they found evidence of tigers using camera traps in areas where a previous investigation found none. According ... Read more

Gazipur Safari Park welcomes a newborn zebra

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A zebra foal was born at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Safari Park in Gazipur in the middle of the month. With the latest one, the number of the Zebra stands at 26, our Gazipur correspondent reports quoting the park’s in-charge Assistant Conservator of Forest Rafiqul Islam. However, the sex of the baby ... Read more

Egypt finds 2,000 mummified ram heads in an ancient temple

Mummified ram heads found in Ramses II Temple in ancient city of Abydos News Desk : dhakamirror.com An American archaeological mission has unearthed over 2,000 mummified ram heads, at the temple of Ramses II in the ancient city of Abydos in southern Egypt. In addition to this remarkable find, the team also uncovered a much ... Read more

Excavated 1.4M-year-old bones in northern Spain have the potential to alter human prehistory

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The oldest human fossils ever discovered on the European continent are 1.4-million-year-old facial bones, which could change the course of human prehistory, according to the researchers involved in the historic discovery. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Aurora Martin, the archaeologist and general coordinator of the Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos, said: ... Read more

Amazing Planet: Elephants can hear with their feet and understand different languages

Beatrice Christofaro Elephants are skilled communicators with memories that could give humans a run for their money. But culling and habitat loss is making it harder for them to pass on this expertise. They’re known as gentle giants. Elephants, found across Africa and Asia, are the largest mammals on land. And their massive bodies — ... Read more

Tigers in the Sundarbans survive hardship

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Tigers in the Sundarbans are in imminent danger of being hungry due to the rising spotted deer poaching. The big cats, well-known as the Royal Bengal Tiger in the southern mangrove forest of the country hunt spotted deer, monkey, and wild boar. According to a review study by the Implementation, Monitoring ... Read more

No country for elephants

Mostafa Yousuf As if it wasn’t hard enough for elephants to survive in this country, in a tragic development, it was discovered that they are not just dying by electrocution. Shooting down the animals straight up has become seemingly rampant to protect encroached forest lands. In Cox’s Bazar, 18 elephants were shot down in the ... Read more

Snakes help monitor Fukushima Fallout

Researchers have equipped snakes with tracking devices and dosimeters to measure the radiation levels in the vicinity of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, in which there were three core meltdowns in March 2011 – one of the largest anthropogenic releases of radioactive contamination in history. Radiation leaks forced tens of thousands of people ... Read more

Cheetah the best sprinter on earth

The fastest cheetah on Earth has done it again, breaking her previous world record for the 100-meter dash and setting a new best time of 5.95 seconds. This feat surpasses the fastest of all human 100-meter sprinters by almost four seconds. Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter now competing at the 2012 London Olympics, holds the ... Read more

Western black rhino declared extinct

No wild black rhinos remain in West Africa, according to the latest global assessment of threatened species, the Red List, drawn up by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN reports that despite conservation efforts, 25% of the world’s mammals are at risk of extinction. As part of its latest work it ... Read more

The Jurassic cheetah

Supercheetah The Jurassic cheetah Obaidur Rahman Paleontologist from Senckenberg Research Institute, Weimar, Germany, recently unearthed the remains of a cheetah which might just have been the bloodiest killers of the ancient times wandering at one of the oldest known habitat of human beings. It is well known that the only remaining species of cheetah, Acinonyx ... Read more

Unique pig-nosed turtle is over-harvested in New Guinea

Numbers of pig-nosed turtles have declined steeply over the past 30 years, researchers have discovered. The unique reptile has become an international conservation icon, due to it having no close relatives and being considered the turtle most adapted to life underwater in freshwater ponds and rivers. Yet demand for its eggs and meat in Papua ... Read more

‘Ants can identify their worst enemy’

A study of the ant species Temnothorax longispinosus has revealed that it can spot its worst enemy and react with appropriate aggression. The ant colonies are often invaded by slavemaker ants, which steal their pupae. So when the ants spot a slavemaker, they attempt to kill it by biting and stinging. But the insects do ... Read more

Birds eavesdrop on predator chipmunks

Ground-nesting birds eavesdrop on chipmunks in order to protect their nests, according to scientists. Ovenbirds and veeries live alongside egg-eating chipmunks in the Hudson Valley, New York, US. Researchers have found that when simulated chipmunk calls are played, the birds nest up to 20 metres further away. The study is the first to show that ... Read more

Wildlife in jeopardy

Hunger, death on offer as forests vanish fast The number of phone calls we receive every day is amazing. People call to say fishing cats have been killed or captured. Jungle cat kittens found. Vultures lying sick. And of course, tigers have been killed. If we put together all these pieces of information, we get ... Read more

12,000km in 357 days

Sea turtle routes tracked The first turtle that was tagged in Bangladesh with a satellite chip to track its journey last year has travelled over 12,000 kilometres in 357 days and is now coming back to Bangladesh coast from Sri Lanka. Urmee, the name of the turtle, has crossed the path until March 23, 2011. ... Read more