Unique Mechanism of World’s First Warm Blooded Fish Baffle Researchers

Opah Fish

Researchers have discovered world’s first warm blooded fish

The blood mechanism of Opah is pretty similar to birds and mammals. It contains a unique set of blood vessels that keeps body warm. Normally, the blood vessels of fishes carry blood in specific organs of the body such as swimming muscles and brain. These organs enable fishes to move in chilly water; however they cannot stay there for a long time period.

In comparison, Opah’s vessels circulate heated blood in the entire body. It rapidly flaps its pectoral fins to warm up blood present in the gills. Afterwards, the heated blood moves all around the body.

Opah, commonly known as moonfish, is mostly found in hundreds meter deep beneath ocean surface. Generally, fishes that live in cold water are sluggish. They wait for the prey to come instead of actively chasing it.

In contrast, Opah is a high performance predator that reacts quickly. It has specific features, like big eyes and large heart, which help it to move quickly.

Heidi Dewar, a researcher at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center, comments on the features of Opah. He states that the newly found fish has pretty uncommon characteristics.

The study printed in Journal Science states that body temperature of Opah is 5 degree warmer than its surrounding water.

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