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Warm-Blooded Fish Found

Forget everything you ever learned in Biology class about all fish being cold-blooded. Last week researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered a fish living deep in the Pacific Ocean that is truly warm-blooded. 

Marine biologist Nick Wegner with an opah, the first fish found to be warm blooded. (Photo: NOAA Fisheries, Southwest Fisheries Science Center)Unlike other fish, NOAA determined that the opah (Lampris guttatus), or "moonfish", actually generates heat as it swims and then distributes the heat throughout their bodies through special blood vessels. The discovery was made after researchers found special "counter-current heat exchangers" in the fish's gills, which minimizes heat loss at the chilly depths the opah is known to swim to.

This discovery is important as up until now all warm-blooded beings have been categorized as mammals and birds, with warm-blooded swimming creatures, like dolphins and whales, being labeled as mammals. It looks like it's time to re-write the biology books.

For more information about this discovery check out this article from USA Today.

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