sunfish

sudden appearance
mysterious and lifeless
decomposing

Earlier this year Maggie and I were taking a walk along the Black Rock coastal path as we often do in the morning when a rich odour alerted us to something as yet unseen on the other side of the sea wall. Leaning over we observed an object that was clearly animal but of a shape and size that confounded me. As I was taking photos other walkers arrived and someone announced we were looking at a dead Sunfish.

Once home and on Google I soon established this was a young Sunfish and it had clearly come in through the heads to our Port Phillip Bay and arrived at the eastern end up against the sea wall . How the poor fish had died and when could only be guessed. They are ocean dwellers and why I knew this was a young one is because the big adults can weigh up to 1000 kilo. This one was probably around 150-200 kilo. They are the heaviest bony fish and very strange being the shape of a huge fish head with a laterally flattened body. They have large rudder like a tail however something had eaten the tail and fins from this dead example. The body remained floating at this site for a few more days slowly rotting and being eaten by predators then suddenly one morning 5 days after these photos were taken it had disappeared

22 thoughts on “sunfish

  1. Poor one, dear Denis, I searched on Google too now, how big one… On the other hand, the name is interesting, “Sunfish”, because of his shape or because of he reflects the sun light… I thought of this… Thank you, have a nice day and new week, Love, nia

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  2. So many fascinating and strange creatures in the deep ocean we never normally see. The oceans’ biodiversity is definitely unreported especially in these difficulty times – at least the tragedy of the Great Barrier Reef is finally making headlines round the world.

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    1. The variety of life below surface is still more unknown than known apparently. Sadly however as you mention the Great Barrier Reef is possibly irreversibly damaged starting with ignorant farming methods, destruction of coastal vegetation, shipping damage and now destructive climate change effects. Australian politicians have been at the forefront of this damage and if anything are now supporting the escalation of it with an obsession to mine coal and sell it to Asian countries so they can burn it and add to global warming. Greed, ignorance and corruption is out of control here. David Attenborough did a fantastic wake up call documentary on the reef 2 years ago and personally petitioned our politicians. Most of them ignored this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your personal and Australian perspective. When you see and hear what many of our so-called leaders around the world are facilitating, it just makes you want to plunge your head in your hands and weep and weep.

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