It brings me great honour to lighten your day with the newest discovery from the deep: sunfish larva.
Whilst adult sunfish are one of the heaviest known fish in the world (some weighing up to 1,000 kilos), it turns out when they start out in life they’re pretty damn small.
For the first time ever, sunfish larva have been identified. They’re smaller than a pea, squishy, and probably the cutest thing you will see today.
Despite the fact that adult sunfish are so huge, this is how they begin. Seriously though, this thing is fucking tiny. This lil buddy looks like he could be one of those baby Pokemon that kids have on their backpacks. But cuteness aside, it’s a pretty nifty scientific discovery. Joint teamwork from Australian and New Zealand scientists has finally unearthed the larva of the giant bump-head sunfish (Mola Alexandrini). And none other than the Australian Museum made the announcement, as their rare collection was vital to the final discovery.
Anyway, back to the fish. That’s why you’re here, after all. The bump-head species (which is what you see above), is one of just three Mola species around Australia. They’re labelled sunfish for one pretty self-explanatory reason: they’re suckers for a bit of sun-bathing. Sounds pretty Australian to me.
The scientists working on analysing the species were surprised it took them so long to locate sunfish eggs and larvae, as female sunfish hold about 300 million ova. The sample that finally put the team at peace was no easy feat to analyse. For DNA extortion, they had to remove the eyeball of a specimen only 5 millimetres in size. Praise be to scientists; keep doing your thing.
— 1 NEWS (@1NewsNZ) July 22, 2020