A diver swims with a huge ocean sunfish off the coast of San Diego, California
Picture: Daniel Botelho / Barcroft Media (via Pictures of the day: 3 August 2012 - Telegraph)
that diver is super happy to get a picture with benedict cumberbatch
… what IS that thing?
RU ASKED ME TO EXPLAIN SO
Ocean sunfish are pretty weird. I dunno what you want in the ways of explanation here, but basically their deal is that their caudal fin degenerated into that little stump called a clavus, and they use their dorsal and anal fins for movement (topping out around 2 — 3 mph). They hang out in the epipelagic zone, just sort of floating along, and inhaling jellyfish as their main food source. I’m not totally sure how that kind of locomotion helps them, but I think the theory is that it allowed them to grow much larger (they’re usually almost as tall as they are long), and bigness is often a defense mechanism in and of itself. It’s why only one or two of a sunfish’s 300 million eggs survive to sexual maturity. Like sauropods, once you get big enough, pretty much nothing’s gonna go after you, even if you don’t have any other defenses.
Blowfish and porcupine fish are actually my favorite fishes. I guess I can see how they’d be related… maybe.
So what is that hole in front of the stump? Also, the spinal cord thing is very hard for me to wrap my head around. WTF.
space is always in the sky