The two-tonne fish swim in with the heatwave
Tuesday 25 July 2006
Giant ocean sunfish have been spotted in UK waters off the south-western tip of Cornwall during an aerial survey of marine life.
A total of 19 of the species - the world's largest bony fish which can weigh more than two tonnes - were counted in two hours.
The survey was carried out by researchers from the University of Exeter's school of biosciences, the Marine Conservation Society and Cornwall Wildlife Trust.
The sunfish - their name refers to their habit of lying at the sea surface on their side as if sunbathing - feed mainly on jellyfish.
They are generally thought to be a warm-water species, but in recent years sunfish have been recorded more frequently in UK waters during the summer and are thought to be an indication of the rising temperatures of UK seas.
"This sudden influx of these beautiful, giant fish was a fantastic surprise," said Dr Brendan Godley senior lecturer at the University of Exeter Cornwall Campus.
"We only spotted the sunfish lying on their side at the surface so there may have been more below the waves.
"This is the first time we have spotted them during our surveys and we think they have arrived here in order to take advantage of anticipated jellyfish blooms as the summer sea temperatures rise."
The same survey - carried out last Thursday - also detected basking sharks, porpoises, seals and jellyfish.
Previous surveys have also recorded bottlenose and common dolphins.
As Iraq runs dry, a plague of snakes is unleashed
Vital invertebrates decline by 45 per cent, study finds
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
Plan to reintroduce genetically pure bison could put the wild back into America's Wild West
Stop taking 'tiger selfies' that fund animal abuse, charity says
- 1 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Now diplomacy has failed, boycotting Israel might be the only way we can protect the people of Gaza
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
- < Previous
- Next >
£180 - £250 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountants - Key Banking...
£200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...
£18000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Computer Futures are currently...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Sales - Trainee Recruitment Co...