Oddities in the Ocean / Podcasts and Videos / Scientists in Action!

Film Friday: Sunfish from the Sky

With finals week upon us, all those affiliated with a university may be feeling a little exhausted at the moment.  If the internet has taught us anything though, it’s that there’s nothing like a fun animal video to lift your spirits/help you procrastinate.  This clip combines the improbably buoyant sunfish with a little inspiration as the scientist Tierney Thys describes her lifelong adventures studying this organism.  The sunfish’s scientific name is Mola mola, which is fitting for a creature that looks like a giant boulder: “mola” means millstone.  If you’ve ever met a Mola, you can relax, because as far as we know, they’re as big as bony fish come, weighing in at 5,000 pounds and stretching up to 11 feet max.  The sunfish’s absentee back fin is the result of its curious development.  After the fish is born, its back fin never grows, but folds over to become a curved structure called a clavus.  Be sure to pay attention to how Tierney Thys tracks the sunfish!  Just in time for summer, you may decide you need to include that mode of transportation into your next research venture…


Cover image from http://www.oceanlight.com

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