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