Huge warm-blooded tropical sunfish washes up in Murcia

Huge warm-blooded tropical sunfish washes up in Murcia
CREDIT: Regional Park of Calblanque

A huge red sunfish weighing 35 kilos and 1.45 meters in length was discovered washed up at the Regional Park of Calblanque in Murcia at the weekend.

The species, called ‘lampris guttatus’ or more commonly Opah, is the first warm-blooded species capable of keeping all its organs at a stable temperature and is normally found in tropical waters.

The cause of the creature’s death is still unknown.


The tyre-sized Opah, also known as the moonfish or sunfish, is a deepwater predatory fish with relatively small red fins adorning its large, round body, which can grow up to 1.8 metres long.

These fins, which flap rapidly as the fish swims, turn out to be important in generating body heat for the Opah, often found swimming with tuna schools.

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Tara Rippin is a reporter for Spain’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Euro Weekly News, and is responsible for the Costa Blanca region.
She has been in journalism for more than 20 years, having worked for local newspapers in the Midlands, UK, before relocating to Spain in 1990.
Since arriving, the mother-of-one has made her home on the Costa Blanca, while spending 18 months at the EWN head office in Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol.
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