The Molas | Ocean Sunfish

The Molas is a large fish that is quite uncommon although probably not endangered.

The Molas is seen only rarely and then usually in open seas. Also called the Ocean sunfish, The Molas can weigh up to 600 pounds and is in reality a giant sunfish of sorts. They are normally between four and 8 feet, but can be as long as eleven feet long.

The Molas or Ocean Sunfish
The Molas or Ocean Sunfish

Ocean sunfish have a large dorsal fin that looks for all the world as though it has been chopped in half.

When viewed they cause a great deal of excitement since they are so rare and so absolutely giant in size but are in fact a true fish.

Ocean sunfish have several strange habits, one of which is to lie on their side in the waters off shore. They rest at the surface of the water, sunning and appear in many cases to be dead, when in reality they are simply resting.

When disturbed in their position they will move slowly by slapping their dorsal and their anal fins alternately and slowly gain momentum to move away.

The Molas feeds in a peculiar way also. When a Molas is hungry it simply siphons in water and takes in fish, jellyfish and ever squid in their search for food, as well as many other sea creatures.

Female Molas drop their eggs and each Molas can produce a vast number of eggs.
One female who was about 4 and a half feet long was determined to be carrying well over 300 million egs in a single ovary.

That number remains today the largest number of eggs ever recorded in a single vertebrate.After they hatch the young larvae look very much like a puffer or porcupine fish.

As they grow in size their spines will disappear however until they do grow up, the Ocean sunfish young themselves will lie on the ocean current and drift long distances rather than swimming, their spines erect to prevent them from being eaten..


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