Sunfish
freshwater sunfish

Sunfish

Sunfish

Sunfish, the common name for a family of mostly small freshwater fish; also the name of a large ocean fish.Freshwater sunfish are noted for their nest-building. The male hollows out a depression in the sand where the female lays her eggs. After fertilizing the eggs, the male guards the nest and the newly hatched young. One of the best-known species of sunfish is the pumpkinseed, or common sunfish, which grows up to nine inches (23 cm) long. It is found in lakes throughout much of the eastern half of the United States and is often taken by fishermen. Some species, such as the 3 1/2-inch (9-cm) blue-spotted sunfish and the 1- to 1 1/2-inch (2.5- to 4-cm) banded pygmy sunfish and everglades pygmy sunfish, are popular aquarium fish.

The ocean sunfish, also called headfish, is a huge creature often described as a large head with two fins. It is not related to freshwater sunfish. A full-grown specimen may be 11 feet (3.4 m) long and weigh 2,000 pounds (900 kg) or more. The tail is almost indistinguishable. The ocean sunfish is dark gray above with silvery sides and white belly. It is found in tropical and temperate seas throughout the world, usually in open waters.

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