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Animal Themes
Fish
Oceans
Ocean Sunfish



Ocean Sunfish
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.43

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    afar, anal, disc-shaped, headfish, moonfish, puffer, respective, sharptail, speculate, spine-covered, slow-moving, individually, temperate, hence, self-defense, despite
     content words:    Southern Ocean


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Ocean Sunfish   

1     Ocean sunfish are gentle, slow-moving giants. They live in tropical or temperate oceans all over the world. There are four different species of ocean sunfish -- common sunfish, Southern Ocean sunfish, slender sunfish, and sharptail sunfish. Aside from calling them ocean sunfish, we also nickname them moonfish and headfish. Occasionally, you may hear people referring to ocean sunfish as “mola.” Mola comes from "Mola mola," the scientific name for ocean sunfish.
 
2     Now, if all these various names of ocean sunfish are not confusing enough, consider this. There are sunfish in oceans and there are sunfish in rivers and lakes. Despite the fact that both have "sunfish" in their names, ocean sunfish and freshwater sunfish are not related at all! In fact, ocean sunfish share many similarities with puffer fish, and the two are relatives.
 
3     Ocean sunfish have round, flattened bodies in white or dark gray. Their dorsal and anal fins are extremely long. When ocean sunfish swim, they wave their dorsal and anal fins from side to side in unison. At times, ocean sunfish prefer not to swim and let the current carry them around. Every now and then, ocean sunfish like to float on one side near the ocean surface. Scientists speculate that ocean sunfish carry out this strange behavior to warm up their bodies. Interestingly, like sharks, ocean sunfish expose part of their dorsal fins as they swim. Hence, looking from afar, beach goers cannot really tell if they are staring at hungry sharks or mild-tempered ocean sunfish! Well, just to be careful, getting out of the water is always a good idea!

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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Animal Themes
             Animal Themes


Fish
             Fish


Oceans
             Oceans



Animals
    Amphibians  
 
    Birds  
 
    Deserts  
 
    Fish  
 
    Freshwater  
 
    Grasslands  
 
    Insects  
 
 
    Invertebrates  
 
    Mammals  
 
    Oceans  
 
    Polar Regions  
 
    Rain Forest  
 
    Reptiles  
 


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