Scientists discover the World's First Warm-Blooded Fish.
Scientists identify the World’s First Warm-Blooded Fish.
Hoax or Fact:
Fact with some missing information.
Pictures and stories shared through various online platforms state that scientists have discovered the world's first warm-blooded fish. The claim is a fact with some missing information.
It is a well-known fact that almost all fish are ectothermic, i.e. cold-blooded, which allows their body temperatures to vary as the surrounding water temperatures change. Some top sea predators like the Tuna and the Pacific salmon shark have vascular systems to warm specific parts of their body like eyes or swimming muscles (called regional endothermy, or limited warm-bloodedness), but they lose it when they swim deeper into cold waters. In May 2015, scientists announced that they discovered the world’s first fully warm-blooded fish, the Opah (Lampris guttatus), also called as Moonfish.
According to a study published in the journal Science (sciencemag.org), Opah is the first known fully warm-blooded fish. It is a predatory fish that hunts for prey in dark, cold waters up to 1,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. The current finding came after a researcher at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Nicholas Wegner examined an opah gill sample.
Opah is an industrious fish that generates heat by vigorously flapping its fins to swim, which not only speeds up their metabolism, but also builds a heating system into their gills through the incoming blood. This way, the moonfish opah can maintain a body temperature which is up to 41 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding chilly waters they swim in. No wonder, the warm-blooded fish have keen sense of vision, can react quickly, and have the stamina to chase down its fast-moving prey even in deep waters.