oceanic sunfish

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Mola mola munch munch! Target feeding with our two young ocean sunfish is a piece of cake. Both beasties have learned to hit their Mola marks to dine on tong-delivered delicacies!

Even though ocean sunfish have a brain the size of a walnut, they can be trained to recognize a visual dinner-bell (a “target” in the biz) to come over and be fed by hand. 

The molas are fed a special blend of food inside a sausage casing, allowing us to study how fast these animals grow. Our daily tailgates with the molas prove that you can be bean-brained brainiac!

An astonishing underwater picture has captured the moment a sealion takes a massive chunk out of an ocean sunfish. It attacked the fish, which is also known as a ‘mola mola’ around 12 miles off the coast of San Diego, California. Wildlife photographer Richard Herrmann pictured the seal ripping the flesh from the fish. 

What’s the biggest bony fish in the sea? The mola mola, or ocean sunfish! 

This one was spotted in Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Mola molas spend time basking on their sides near the surface, with their pectoral fins flapping in the air. Have you spotted one while visiting your sanctuaries?

(Photo: Maps for Good/NOAA/Point Blue/ACCESS)

Lovely Ugly!

5 Wonderful but not so pretty marine animals! (Inspired by some of the comments on my last few posts! Enjoy!)

1. The Angler Fish

This deep sea dweller roams the depths luring potential meals in with its lure.

2. The Goblin Shark

Another deep sea animal that has a jaw that will detach and lunge forward to snatch prey out of the water.

3. The Moray Eel

These predators will wait for any unfortunate animals to wander close to their dens.

4.The Ocean Sunfish (or Mola Mola)

A truly odd animal that looks like half of a larger fish, cannot swim well, and primarily feeds on jellyfish.

5. The Stargazer

And last but not least! This bottom dwelling fish has its eyes and mouth situated on the top of it’s head to look for and catch small fish that swim by.

So that’s five ugly but lovely marine animals! Let me know which one is your favorite and I’ll probably be making longer posts for all of the ones I haven’t covered yet on previous posts!

All eyes on you! The mola mola, or ocean sunfish, is the biggest bony fish in the ocean. 

They can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh nearly 5,000 pounds! These ocean giants eat jellyfish, and can often be spotted basking on the ocean surface. This one was spotted in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. 

(Photo: Stuart Halewood)

  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii

Mola Mola, more commonly known as the ocean sunfish, is the heaviest known bony fish in the world with an average adult weight of 2,200 pounds. Their diet consists mainly of jellyfish. The females produce more eggs than any other known vertebrate and can produce up to 300,000,000 at one time.