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Scientists have discovered the first fully warm-blooded fish

Scientists have discovered the first fully warm blooded fish The Washington Post


It’s one of the most basic biology facts we’re taught in school growing up: Birds and mammals are warm-blooded, while reptiles, amphibians and fish are cold-blooded. But new research is turning this well-known knowledge on its head with the discovery of the world’s first warm-blooded fish — the opah.

In a paper published today in Science, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describe the unique mechanism that enables the opah, a deepwater predatory fish, to keep its body warm. The secret lies in a specially designed set of blood vessels in the fish’s gills, which allows the fish to circulate warm blood throughout its entire body.

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Being warm blooded gives it a unique advantage. 

“If your heart’s cold, there’s only so much you can do,” Dewar says. “It doesn’t matter how much your muscles will perform, if your heart can’t deliver the oxygen and nutrients, your muscles can only do so much.” This means fish like tuna must constantly make trips back to the surface to warm up if they don’t want to slow down.

The opah, on the other hand, can spend all its time in the deep waters without losing its edge. And being warm-blooded in such cold temperatures means its eyesight and muscle performance is sharper than its sluggish, cold-blooded cousins. “The prey’s at a complete disadvantage,” Dewar says.

Opah??  Opah Gangman style! :-)

I was thinking Opah Winfrey but actually yours is better. :)

Top Reddit comment:

Glad they mentioned/included this bit:

"Certain other fish, such as some sharks and tuna, have what’s known as “regional endothermy,” or limited warm-bloodedness. It allows them to stay active in colder depths, as well as shallower waters. But the fully warm-blooded opah are unlike all other fish, at least so far as we know it."

This kinda shows how little we know about the oceans, this fish has been known / eaten for a long time.

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