Astounding news: Listening to the BBC today and as the journal Science reveals, warm-bloodedness is not exclusive to mammals and birds. Instead of what wisdom from our school days had us believe, it has been discovered that the silvery Moonfish – or Opah – generates heat and uses this to its definite advantage.
It is not so much any lack of need for an electric blanket to snuggle up to on its ocean bed setting Lampris guttatus apart from its pelagic pals. But a body temperature app. 5 °C above its surroundings enables it to warm its muscles and entire body, thus easily providing the energy to swim and hunt at top gear – faster than its competitors or prey.
Is it the Jeremy Clarkson of its family tree? Or rather family coral? True, it is huge, white and somewhat unshapely, but we currently have no information on whether it has a hot-blooded temper to go with its inbuilt feature of endothermy (Claims from the Irish sea of the Opah punching some lantern fish’s lights out are still being investigated and at the time of publication no offishal statement was available.)
Apparently it is the combination of heat producing fin-flapping in conjunction with heat loss minimizing – brace yourselves – counter-current heat exchangers making the Opah go faster, sometimes around the bend, too! IT’S ALL IN THE GILLS!!
Any more news of the kind and we’ll have Aqua-TV broadcasts hosted by Opah Winfrey.
Makes you wonder, whether this will remain the only fishy discovery concerning endothermic underwater qualities.
And I cannot help but notice a slight similarity to ‘Mr Giggles’ the heliumfish featured in this blog, albeit being the very opposite of pancake flat, especially when inflated. There is a picture of that floating around somewhere. Must try and retrieve it from the deep sea of imagination.
Anybody can help with remembering what the heliumfish Mr Giggles would be called in Latin? For now, Lampris….dubitabilis?
(artwork & comment by thatzjazz, 15 May 2015)