Washington: Scientists have discovered a previously unknown species off Brazil’s Bahia coast, which is more than six feet long, has small teeth, and has no scales covering its gelatinous body.
According to a report in National Geographic News, the fish that has a long tail, was found floating in the sea by researchers from the TAMAR Project, a sea turtle conservation project.
TAMAR project coordinator Guy Marcovaldi captured the first images of the fish, which was dead and lying near the surface of the water.
His special underwater camera is normally used for tracking and filming sea turtles.
“At first, I got really scared when I saw this huge thing in the water. But then, I decided to jump in the water and film it,” said Marcovaldi.
Specialists observing the fish told Brazils TV Globo that the animal weighs about 88 pounds (40 kilos).
It has small teeth and no scales. Due to its large body fat content and gelatinous consistency, researchers do not believe it would be edible.
According to Claudio Sampaio, Oceanographer, Federal University of Bahia, “It is a rare gem to find a species like this, which is completely new, scientifically speaking. There is no human record of this fish.”
The fish will be preserved in formaldehyde and maintained in the zoology department of the Federal University of Bahia, where experts hope to discover more about the fish, including its origins.
There are over 200,000 known species of sea plants and animals in the world, but scientists believe there may be more than a million others that are still unknown.