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IN Animals ON 21 Dec, 2015
It looks light the deep sea isn't so threatening to warm-blooded animals after all.
A study that was published in Science by Nicholas Wegner, Owyn Snodgrass, Heidi Dewar, and John Hyde uncovered the heating ability of the opah. The opah, also known as moonfish, is an incredibly large animal that people actually like to consume.
So, how exactly does the opah fish generate heat when it is located in the cold and deep sea? Check out the story below to find out.
Aside from being incredibly large, the opah is perhaps the first ever deep-water fish that is also completely warm-blooded. It is also more commonly known as the moonfish.
According to a study published in Science, the opah has the ability to create heat using its swim muscles. Moreover, the heart and the brain of the opah are heated through this mechanism. Even if the fish is 1,300 under the sea, the heart and the brain can still perform in their best conditions.
Because the opah is able to keep heat even in deep waters, it can move faster than other cold-blooded animals.
Unlike cold-blooded animals that move slowly and try to capture their prey by ambushing them, the moonfish can chase their prey and run away from their predators effectively.
As stated by lead author and fisheries biologist Nick Wegner, the warm-blooded opah has the advantage in the deep sea because it can react faster than the cold-blooded prey.
The fish is able to undergo endothermy, a characteristic of both mammals and birds. Endothermy refers to the production and maintenance of heat.
While the warm-blooded deep sea fish is skilled in getting its cold-blooded food, humans have a growing interest in eating the moonfish.