Sunfish recovers after taking wrong turning
Saturday 31 July 1999
Chances of survival for Solero, blown off course in the Gulf Stream into a tidal pool at Beaumaris, Anglesey, 10 days ago, had looked grim. But the 2ft-long endearing creature - which looks like a giant head, and has a parrot beak, no tail and two giant dorsal fins - is in the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. Solero is on 100gm of fresh mussels a day for a few weeks, then cockles, sprats and spinach will be added, more upmarket fare than its usual jellyfish.
The species, an intelligent fish that shows emotion and enjoys company, usually found in tropical and sub-tropical waters, can grow up to three metres long and weigh a ton.
Aquarium staff will try to release Solero next year. It is in an isolation tank, on antibiotics and after it is cleared of infection, will be moved into the 750,000-gallon main tank with the sand tiger sharks.
The sunfish, normally grey like all its species, changes colour when it becomes stressed or excited, with blue and green spots and stripes appearing on its body in herringbone patterns. "In the wild, it floats on its side as if it is sunbathing," said the curator, Colin Grist. "It's also sometimes called a headfish, because it looks just like one big head. Its fins let it drift in ocean currents.
"It's an incredible fish, certainly one of the most bizarre you will come across in appearance or habits," he added. "The way it drifts around idly in the ocean sunbathing and its attraction to large objects and people give the impression of an emotional fish. It appears very affectionate and comes up and rubs itself against you."
South Korea ferry: Vice principal rescued from sinking ship found hanged
Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
Oscar Pistorius trial: The case against Oscar Pistorius – and why the prosecution claims his story doesn't add up
Peaches Geldof funeral: Private ceremony to be held at same place as her mother Paula Yates on Easter Monday
Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...