How does a fish have an active life moving fast and preying on other fishes in the deep waters of the ocean? Usually, all fishes have sluggish movements and are slow in catching their prey when they are in deep waters. Many of the fishes come up to the surface of the water to warm their bodies so that they can move faster. So, what makes the Opah fish move fast and get its prey in deep waters? There are certain characteristics that help it have an active life in deep waters.
(1) The Opah is the only fully warm-blooded fish like the mammals and birds, unlike other fishes which are all cold-blooded. This helps the Opah have a faster movement and survive in the depths of the ocean. It helps it catch its prey very fast.
(2) The Opah is able to keep its body warm by the rapid flapping of its fins. This is another characteristic that helps the fish to stay active and move faster than other fishes. It helps the fish to survive in a world of slow-moving fishes.
(3) The body of the Opah is constantly kept at around 5 Degrees C more than the temperature of the surrounding water. This is a specialty exhibited by Opah and not found in other fishes. Some fishes keep parts of their body warm, like the muscles, to help them swim faster. The warm temperature helps the fish to have faster digestion.
(4) Apart from swimming faster, the warm muscles allow the Opah to swim for long distances in search of prey. This helps the fish to survive in the deep ocean among bigger predators who have to come to the top for warming their bodies.
(5) Apart from helping the muscle action, the warm temperature helps the Opah to have a better vision and faster brain function, giving it an edge over other fish in the deep cold waters. This helps them in their survival.
(6) The Opah has well developed fatty tissues around their gills, heart, and These are areas that develop heat, and the fatty tissues insulate them from the cold water.
(7) A unique system where blood vessels going to the gills are wound around those coming from the gills, help heat up the cold blood that comes from the gills to the heart. This system is called the Retia Mirabilia in Latin meaning “wonderful net”.
(8) Unlike in other fishes the heat exchange system of the blood vessels is situated at the gills thus heating up all the blood that carries oxygen from the gills to the heart. There is thus no loss of heat when the fish takes in oxygen.
(9) Unlike any of the other fishes, the Opah has a warm heart which helps it to survive for long in the deep ocean without surfacing.
(10) The Opah’s unique ability to stay longer at deeper waters helps it beat the competition as the other fishes must come up frequently for warming their bodies and also lack the ability to swim fast in the deep waters.