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New diet data for Mola mola and Masturus lanceolatus (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) off Florida's Atlantic coast with discussion of historical context

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Reports on the gut contents of ocean sunfish, Mola mola (Linnaeus, 1758), are rare, and those for sharptail mola, Masturus lanceolatus (Liénard, 1840), are almost nonexistent. Here, we report new diet data obtained during opportune sampling of a small number of stranded specimens of both species, and discuss our data in the context of hypotheses on feeding behavior of M. mola. One specimen of only two M. mola had a gut full primarily of filamentous algae, and the guts of two specimens of M. lanceolatus collectively contained remains of small fish and various invertebrates, indicative of both benthic and pelagic foraging. Our limited data suggest that the diet of M. lanceolatus overlaps that reported for M. mola. At high taxonomic resolution, observed prey items suggest some particulars of our specimens' behavior just before death. We emphasize the importance of meticulous presentation of methods, data, and literature citations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2016

This article was made available online on 10 October 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "New diet data for <i>Mola mola</i> and <i>Masturus lanceolatus</i> (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) off Florida’s Atlantic coast with discussion of historical context".

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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