Giant "vomer": a rare 2-meter fish washed ashore (4 photos)

Category: Animals, PEGI 0+
10 June 2024

Researchers believe that her body could lie on the coast for weeks, since few scavengers would be able to bite through her tough skin.

A huge, rare fish was discovered on the northern Oregon coast. Researchers have discovered that she belongs to the heaviest bony species and now believe that her dead body could lie on the beach for weeks before predators can destroy it.

According to Primorsky Aquarium staff, the giant fish that has attracted public attention is the Hoodwinker sunfish. Previously, it was believed that representatives of this species live only in temperate waters of the southern hemisphere, but this time the giant of the deep sea was washed up on the northern coast.

The huge body of a fish on the beach attracted the attention of curious eyes, intrigued by the unusual sight. According to the researchers, the beached sunfish Hoodwinker reaches a length of 2.2 meters and first appeared on the beach on June 3. Even though a week has passed since then, scientists believe that the body of the huge bony fish could lie on the beach for weeks. The fact is that the bodies of the Hoodwinker sunfish are covered with hard skin, and therefore it is difficult for scavengers to get close to them and destroy the remains of the body of the giant fish.

Photos provided by the aquarium show the flat, round, gray fish lying on its side in the sand. Also in the photo there is a man and a pickup truck, which generally give an idea of ​​the body size of the sea giant.

Photos of a huge fish washed ashore were shown to Mayanna Nygaard, a New Zealand sunfish researcher. Scientists have confirmed that it was indeed a rare deceiver sunfish that washed up on the coast. By the way, representatives of this species are even rarer in comparison with the more common ocean sunfish. Nygaad also suggested that this may be the largest such fish the team has ever seen.

Back in 2017, Nygaard and colleagues used a genetic sampling and observational approach and found that the trickster sunfish (Mola tecta) is a different fish from the ocean sunfish Mola mola. "Tecta" is Latin for "hidden or disguised," referring to the new species that was "hiding in plain sight," the aquarium said.

In 2019, a trickster sunfish washed up on the California coast. Recently, another fish washed ashore in California and Alaska. Scientists believe that all these cases actually challenge the theory that the species is limited to the southern hemisphere.

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