The warm-blooded opah or moonfish swims by rapidly flapping its large, red pectoral fins like wings through the water, giving it a competitive advantage in the cold ocean depths, reported the team from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries).

"That warm-blooded advantage turns the opah into a high-performance predator that swims faster, reacts more quickly and sees more sharply," said fisheries biologist Nicholas Wegner, lead author of the paper."It turns out to be a very active predator that chases down agile prey like squid and can migrate long distances," he added.

While looking at opah, Wegner recognised an unusual design: Blood vessels that carry warm blood into the fish's gills wind around those carrying cold blood back to the body core after absorbing oxygen from water.

The paper appeared in the journal Science.


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