Beijing: A rare type of freshwater jellyfish has been found to be thriving in a river in south China.
Schools of the endangered freshwater jellyfish were discovered by police officers conducting a dive-training session in a river in Du`an Yao county of Guangxi Zhuang region, Xinhua reported.
Wei Qinghua, a police diving coach who first noticed the jellyfish, found thousands of the creatures in an underwater cave and took pictures and sent them to biologists at the Chinese Academy of Science.
The biologists concluded that the creatures Wei saw were freshwater jellyfish, also known as "peach blossom jellyfish" for their resemblance to the flower, said Lan Qifu, chief of the regional tourism bureau.
Tong Xiaoli, an environmental professor at the South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, said: "They look very unique and beautiful, but it is hard to tell what specific species they belong to. We will need to work with foreign experts in order to determine their species."
Freshwater jellyfish are occasionally found in Guangdong, Fujian and Shandong provinces, Tong said, adding that the jellyfish found in Guangxi look different from those found in other provinces.
"If they are confirmed to be a new species, they will have tremendous research value," he said.