Tags: discovery | new | fish | species

Discovery Enlarges Amazon Fish Family

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 06:42 PM

By Amy Woods

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Scientists have come across a new species of fish in the Amazon River, and the discovery marks the first of its kind in more than 100 years.

The beautiful swimmer is in the arapaima family, and is an unusually large freshwater fish. For the past century, researchers have known of the existence of a single species in the family.

The new find has conservationists voicing concerns about overfishing and fish farms.

"Everybody for 160 years had been saying there's only one kind of arapaima," Donald Stewart, of the State University of New York at Syracuse, told NBC News. "But we know now there are various species, including some not previously recognized. Each of these unstudied giant fishes needs conservation assessment."

Important to commercial anglers in the region, arapaima gigas was believed to be the only species in existence today.

In the 1800s, however, four species of arapaima were documented and studied, Stewart said.

He sifted through research and looked at preserved specimens at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, and told NBCNews that each of the four types was distinct. The fifth member of the family has the scientific name A. leptosome, and the news was published in the October issue of Copeia.

Identifying and understanding all of the arapaima's different features will aid in the health of the fish, the conservation of river ecology, and the balance of nature.

"There is a growing aquaculture industry for arapaima, so they are being moved about and stocked in ponds for rearing," Stewart said. "Eventually, pond-reared fishes escape and, once freed, the ecological effects are irreversible. A species that is endangered in its native habitat may become an invasive species in another habitat.

"The bottom line is that we shouldn't be moving these large, predatory fishes around until the species and their natural distributions are better known. Given the uncertainties, precaution is needed."


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Space Station Gets Easter Delivery of Food, Supplies

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 15:42 PM

A Space Exploration Technologies' cargo ship made an Easter Sunday delivery of food, science experiments and supplies to . . .

Obamacare Enrollees Urged to Change Passwords over Heartbleed Bug

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 10:55 AM

Americans with accounts on President Barack Obama's health insurance enrollment website, HealthCare.gov, were advised th . . .

Dragon Supply Capsule Reaches the Orbiting ISS

Sunday, 20 Apr 2014 10:35 AM

The unmanned Dragon capsule from the private US firm SpaceX successfully reached the International Space Station Sunday, . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved