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Scientific Name: Mola alexandrini

Description: Giant Sunfish’s like one that washed up at 13th Beach in 2022 and their relatives, are a large sun-shaped pelagic fish that mainly drift via ocean currents and feed on jellies and other gelatinous animals.

They do not have a tail to give them forward propulsion but have long vertical fins above and below to help them stay vertical and on course.

Because they are large, slow moving, and often warm themselves in the sun on their sides near the surface (which gives them their name), unfortunately they can be hit by vessels.

Mola in Latin means “millstone” and describes the ocean sunfish’s somewhat circular shape. They are a silvery color and have a rough skin texture. 

*A more common species for the Barwon Heads area would be Mola tecta, a new species only described in 2017.

Type: Bony Fish
Where to find: Open Ocean
Size: 3.3m