Mola Mola Fish in Galapagos

galapagos mola mola fish

The Mola Mola Fish is the largest fish on Earth and they also live in the warm waters of the Galapagos Islands.


This magnificent creature usually stays in warm waters with temperatures of about 10° C (50° F), cooler temperatures may cause their disorientation or even death.

Perhaps this is why you can observe them basking in the sun close to the surface, this thermal recharging is crucial for their survival.

Isabela Island which is the largest Island to the west of the Galapagos Archipelago, has a lot to of attractions to offer.

Find Cheap Airline Tickets to the Galapagos Islands here

A dinghy ride along the cliffs of Punta Vicente Roca, allows you a close view of boobies, fur seals, sea lions, sea turtles and fantastic marine species such as the mola mola fish.

To spot one of these unforgettable fish, keep your eyes on the water: if you see something that looks like a shark or sea lion fin poking out of the water, it just may be a mola mola, that calmly and curiously, comes up near the surface.

Mola mola fish is the scientific name given to the largest fish on earth, the Ocean sunfish. Many of the sunfish's various names allude to its unique flattened shape.

Its specific name, mola, is Latin for millstone, which the fish resembles because of its grey color, rough texture, and rounded body.

Its common English name, sunfish, refers to its habit of sunbathing at the surface of the water.

This bony fish can weigh about 1 ton (2.200 pounds) and have an average length of 1.8 mt (5.9ft). They live in all tropical and temperate waters around the world.

It is hard to believe that this enormous fish feeds mainly on jelly fish, squid, crustaceans and small fish, which are considered nutritionally poor.

The mola mola fish must consume large amounts of food to maintain its size. Their teeth are fused in a beak-like structure allowing them to crush harder organisms like crabs.

Specialized teeth are found on their throats to grind the food before digestion.

Because sunfish must consume a large volume of prey, their presence in a given area may be used as an indicator of nutrient-rich waters where endangered species may be found.

The sunfish produces an enormous amount of eggs.

A 1.4m (4.5 ft) female was estimated to be carrying 300 million eggs in her single ovary, several orders of magnitude greater than most other fishes. Needless to say, the eggs are very tiny.

Galapagos Islands Tours

Of a full week on board the MV SANTA CRUZ or the luxury yacht ISABELA II and the all new YACHT LA PINTA are perfect to fully understand the diversity and uniqueness that the Galapagos Islands are famous for.

My recommendation is that you can enjoy more fully the different life forms, climate, sea currents and geological on week-long voyages. See Our Galapagos Land Tours

Recommended Reading

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)

Ecuador & Galapagos (Insight Guides)
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading! There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands

Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers. Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World

Galapagos: The Islands That Changed the World
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in. Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands

Moon Spotlight Galapagos Islands
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier. But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you. Small, well-priced, and reliable!

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire

Galapagos: Islands Born of Fire
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table. This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!

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If you have questions about the Mola Mola Fish, You can post them on our Galapagos FAQ Page and if you would like to request more information about our recommended Galapagos Island Tours to visit this Archipelago, You can Contact us here

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