The stomach of the sunfish was filled with long jellyfish tentacles, suggesting that it had eaten jellyfish shortly before it’s death. There were even some jellyfish tentacles still in its mouth.
Scientists still aren’t sure what makes up the bulk of a sunfish’s diet. Sunfish eat jelly-like small gelatinous animals (including jellyfish) but are known to also snack on algae, crustaceans, and small fishes if the opportunity presents itself.
One of the big problems for sunfishes is mistaking plastic in the water for their preferred food. To them, a plastic bag would look like a jellyfish.
Photograph by Jean-Claude Stahl, Te Papa