Warm-blooded fish found by NOAA scientists
They were thought to be cold blooded. But now we will have to alter the phrase cold blooded completely as the world’s first warm-blooded fish makes it to your platter. The fish has come as a huge surprise to marine scientists.
Moonfish or opah has not just bewildered the marine scientists working with the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it has also given them a hope that this is actually not going to be the only fish of its kind in the vast seas around the world.
Marine scientists have concluded after analyzing the fish opah â€“ a large deepwater fish â€“ that it can actually manage to warm both its heart and brain by using the heat that is released through its swim muscles.
The study authors while talking about the finding say, â€œThis ability increases its metabolic function in cold, deep waters, which will help the fish compete with other, colder-blooded speciesâ€.
Thus far only mammals and birds were thought to be able to keep their bodies warm, most often through increasing their metabolic rate, other forms of keeping warm have provoked scientists to increasingly use this means of thermo-regulation to differentiate between species in this regard. Marine scientists are of the opinion that swordfish, tuna and some sharks species are known to have particular circulatory mechanisms that will maintain their organs above the ambient temperature of their surroundings.
The latest finding was possible when Owyn Snodgrass, a fisheries biologist with the NOAA caught some opah off the coast of California. It was part of a regular survey that he and NOAA used to conduct. He gave the gills to his colleague Nicholas Wegner, a fish physiologist. “Iâ€™m kind of known as the gill guyâ€¦ I noticed right away that there was something unique,” Wegner was quoted as saying by Science.