World’s first fully warm-blooded fish named Opah or moonfish was discovered recently. It was discovered by scientists at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Opah or moonfish has ability to circulate heated blood throughout its body which makes it first fish known to be fully warm-blood.
Facts about Opah fish
- Opah fish has rusty reddish color with white spots and bright red fins.
- It weighs up to 90 kg and has an oval body shape.
- It is deepwater denizen and usually found in oceans worldwide and generally found at depths of 50-400 m.
- It is a vigorous predator in frigid ocean depths and preys on fish and squid.
- Unique capability- It can internally generate heat through constant flapping of wing-like pectoral fins.
- Its unique structure also help to prevent this heat from being lost to the environment as its gills lets warm blood to heat up cold blood returning from the gills’ respiratory surface.
- This generated heat has an average muscle temperature about 4 to 50 C above the surrounding water temperature.
- Being a warm-blooded fish it has distinct advantages such as faster swimming speeds and reaction times, better brain and eye function and withstand the effects of cold on vital organs compared to cold-bodied fish
Warm-blooded animals: They generate their own heat and maintain a body temperature independent of the environment. They are also known as endotherms. It should be noted most of mammals and birds are warm-blooded animals.
Cold-blooded animals: Their body temperature depends on the temperature of their surroundings. Thus they are hot when their environment is hot and cold when their environment is cold. They are also known as ectotherms. Most of amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and most fish are cold-blooded animals.