New batfish species found under Gulf oil spill
Washington: Researchers have discovered two previously unknown species of bottom-dwelling fish in the Gulf of Mexico, living right in the area affected by the BP oil spill.
Researchers identified new species of pancake batfishes, a flat fish rarely seen because of the dark depths they favor. They are named for the clumsy way they "walk" along the sea bottom, like a bat crawling.
"One of the fishes that we describe is completely restricted to the oil spill area," John Sparks of the American Museum of Natural History in New York, said in a statement released on Thursday.
"If we are still finding new species of fishes in the Gulf, imagine how much diversity, especially microdiversity, is out there that we do not know about."
Writing in the Journal of Fish Biology, Sparks and his colleagues named the species as Halieutichthys intermedius and H. bispinosus. A third already known species called H. aculeatus also only lives in waters affected by the spill, they said.
Pancake batfishes have round, flat bodies with giant heads and mouths they can thrust forward. They use arm-like fins to drag themselves along the bottom and a modified dorsal fin excretes fluid to lure prey.
Sparks said the three species had been considered just one species, but his team found distinct differences.
"These discoveries underscore the potential loss of undocumented biodiversity that a disaster of this scale may portend," he said. BP aims to plug the well late this month or in August.
The well has pumped millions of gallons (liters) of oil into the Gulf, coating shorelines and animals and having as yet unknown effects on creatures living in deep waters.
It threatens to devastate the Gulf region`s multibillion-dollar fishing and tourist industries.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- When Subramanian Swamy shocked people at a wedding!
- Mumbaikars join hands to save Pakistani teen with rare illness
- PM Modi speaks at Golden Jubilee celebrations of poet Dinkar’s works
- Mumbai: Diamond export company denies job to Muslim youth
- Vadodara: Policemen seen dancing with bar girls
- Coal scam: Naveen Jindal, Madhu Koda and others get bail
- Mirage 2000 fighter jet landing was part of capability demonstration: IAF
- DNA: IAF Mirage 2000 fighter plane lands successfully on Yamuna expressway
- One year of Modi govt: Arun Jaitley addresses press conference
- DNA: Osama documents show 'Indian brother in Madinah' financed al Qaeda
- ISIS executes Syrian fighter using anti-tank rocket launcher
- Zee Media Exclusive: Kangana, Madhavan talk about their film 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns'
- Zee Media Exclusive interview with Congress leader Kamal Nath
- Woman robbed at gunpoint inside Hyderabad ATM
- Columbia student takes rape-protest mattress to graduation
- Check Jharkhand Board jac.nic.in: Class 12th Art Results 2015 declared
- Fawad Khan doesn’t want intimate scenes with Sonam Kapoor?
- We hire only non-Muslim candidates, diamond export firm tells Muslim youth
- Is MSG in 'Maggi' noodles harmful for you?
- Mumbai firm booked for denying Muslim MBA graduate job on religious grounds, probe ordered
- Jayalalithaa makes public appearance, meets Governor: As it happened
- New IPL rules could see Chennai Super Kings lose MS Dhoni
- `Piku` hits jackpot, does Rs 100 crore business worldwide
- Anurag Kashyap to bid goodbye to India, settle in 'cinema-friendly' France!
- IPL 2015, Qualifier 2, Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore: Preview
- Geelani's passport application incomplete, cannot be processed: MEA
- CBSE Class X Results 2015 to be announced today?
- Lalu Yadav invites Jitan Ram Manjhi for joint fight against BJP, JD(U) upset
- Littering, defacement to be made punishable offence
- CBSE Class 10 Results 2015 may not be announced today