Molas, (or at least Mola mola) produce an impressive number of eggs. A 1.4 m (4.5 ft) female was estimated to be carrying 300 million eggs in her single unpaired ovary. ( Note while male molas have paired testes, females have unpaired gonads.) 300 million is greater than most other fishes and to date remains the largest number of eggs ever recorded in a single vertebrate at any one time (Carwardine, 1995). Needless to say, the eggs are tiny (1.3mm in diameter) and would fit into the size of this “o”.
After hatching, the larvae expose their affinity to their spiky puffer-fish relatives and look more like swimming pincushions than wee molas. As they grow and mature however, their spines disappear, as do their tails.
Mola mola larvae
Masturus lanceolatus larvae
Ranzania laevis larvae