Sunfish Sighted Far from Home Seas

STRALSUND, Germany, Dec. 7 (UPI) — Ocean sunfish, large disk-shaped creatures usually found in tropical waters, have been sighted along Germany’s northern Baltic coast, scientists said.

Four of the slow-moving friendly giants, which can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 2 tons, were probably swept into the Baltic Sea by storms, Der Spiegel reported Monday.

Scientists doubt global warming had anything to do with their appearance thousands of miles from their usual tropical and temperate habitats.

“They’re not exactly high-performance swimmers,” Gotz-Bodo Reinecke of the German Oceanographic Museum said. “They’re slow dreamers who peacefully drift around the seas and aren’t known for lively enthusiasm.

“It’s not that likely that they actively swam into the Baltic. They may well have been swept in from the North Sea by a sea swell caused by strong winds.”

Sunfish, known in German as moonfish, are large flat fish with large fins on their top and underside. They eat soft matter like jellyfish and small crabs, and are harmless to humans, Der Spiegel said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Fish
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