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Opah

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Octadecanoate to Ovenbirds

Opahs (Lampris guttatus) are a bony ray-fin oceanic fish, with a world-wide distribution, in the Family Lamprididae of the Order Lampridiformes. Opahs are known only from specimens found stranded on the beach or captured accidentally by commercial travelers because these fish live at depths of 325-1,300 ft (100-400 m). Little is known of their life habits, but they are very fast swimmers and feed on fish and squid. Opahs reach sizes of up to 25 ft (7.8 m) long and weigh up tp 110 lb (50 kg). Their body is compressed from side to side but deep from back to belly, with fins that are more or less sickle-shaped. The color of opahs is remarkably brilliant: they have bright red fins, a deep blue back, shading to pinkish on the belly, with round milk-white spots on the sides. Opahs are also known as moonfish.

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