It looks like some kind of aquatic rhinoceros, but the giant sunfish is officially the heaviest bony fish in the world.
And this particular specimen is the biggest of the big.
In December 2021, a dead giant sunfish – also known as a Mola Alexandrini – was found floating near Faial Island in the Azores archipelago in Portugal.
It was hauled aboard by marine wildlife workers and, with the help of a forklift truck, weighed back on land.
The beast weighed in at a massive 2,744kg (6,050 pounds) – well over two tonnes and heavier than most small cars.
In a new study of the creature, published this week in the Journal of Fish Biology, it’s been given the record of heaviest bony fish in the world.
It is, to use the internet expression, an absolute unit.
‘The M. alexandrini reported here is the heaviest extant teleost specimen reported to date,’ confirmed the scientists behind the discovery.
‘It exceeds by nearly half a ton (444 kg [979 pounds]) the largest previously known specimen (2300 kg [5,070 pounds]), caught off Kamogawa, Japan in 1996… Giant sunfishes M. alexandrini can thus reach more than twice the maximum weight of its congeneric, the ocean sunfish M. mola (heaviest record 1320 kg [2,910 pounds]).’
It’s not pretty – but it is huge!!!
A new bony fish world record: Sunfish (Mola alexandrini) found dead at the Azores with 2744kg / 325cm ð¤¯https://t.co/t1aKKnjvtb pic.twitter.com/tTqlJwbHoe
The scientists say they’re not sure what killed the mighty creature – although there was a dent on its head showing streaks of paint. This suggests it was hit by the keel of a boat at some stage, but it’s not known if this is what killed it.
The team say they want to continue to study the specimen to try and learn more about the elusive species.
Source: Read Full Article