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Scientists Discover First Warm-Blooded Fish 33

sciencehabit writes: The opah lives in the dark, chilly depths of the world's oceans, using heated blood to keep warm. It's the first fish found to be fully warm-blooded. Certain sharks and tuna can warm regions of their body such as swimming muscles and the brain but must return to the surface to protect vital organs from the effects of the cold. The opah on the other hand, generates heat from its pectoral muscles, and conserves that warmth thanks to body fat and the special structure of its gills. “It’s a remarkable adaptation for a fish,” says Diego Bernal, a fish physiologist at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
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Scientists Discover First Warm-Blooded Fish

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  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @05:56AM (#49696425)
    Would they make Ren Hoeck envious?
  • by Irate Engineer ( 2814313 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @06:39AM (#49696519)
    Warm bloodedness is a survival adaption owing to human's adversion to warm sushi. I bet these fry up wonderfully though.
    • Humans fry up pretty well. Humans are much like pork. And we don't have to scour the ocean depths to snag humans. Sadly most of my neighbors are simply too old to make a decent meal so when hard times come i'll have to get out of my neighborhood to find a young tenderonni.
    • Warm bloodedness is a survival adaption owing to human's adversion to warm sushi.

      Tell that to the tuna (who are a sushi favorite, and partially warm-blooded).

  • An honest politician?!

    ...and I thought I saw everything after a kosher pig.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one who first read it as Oprah and imagined this fish conducting a deep-sea talk show?

  • Aquaman is a warm blooded fish.

  • Is it possible then that the ancestors of the first tetrapods had dormant genes for being warm blooded even before they walked up onto the land?

    • Re:Tetrapods (Score:5, Informative)

      by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday May 15, 2015 @01:05PM (#49698717)
      Water conducts heat away [] about 25x faster than air, and the heat transfer rate is proportional to temperature differential. Until the organism gets to a very large size or develops some serious insulation, trying to maintain a constant body temperature underwater is a lost cause.

      TFA describees an adaptation for minimizing loss of internal heat to the water (counter-current heat exchange of blood entering/leaving the gills). An adaptation that AFAIK no land animals has, though I have heard of some animals having it in their extremities (blood leaving their core to the extremities exchanges heat with blood returning from the extremities, thus preserving internal body heat. I'd be curious if birds which fly really high (upwards of 30,000 ft) have it in their lungs, or if the energy consumption needed to fly at those altitudes is sufficient to offset any heat loss.

      It's also a bit of a stretch to call this warm bloodedness. It's not thermal homeostasis, the process that keeps your internal body temperature at 37 C regardless of environmental conditions.

Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Biochemistry is the study of carbon compounds that crawl. -- Mike Adams