Six new fish species discovered in Indian Ocean


This video shows king penguins at the beach at Crozet island, in the southern Indian Ocean.

From Wildlife Extra:

Six new species of deep sea fish discovered by Oceanlab scientist

A sharp eyed marine scientist who spotted six strange fish during a deep sea research expedition has been rewarded for trusting her instincts.

After painstaking work with three taxonomy experts, Dr Nikki King discovered that the six different fish were all unknown to science. The fish were among marine life landed by the Oceanlab team during a trawl of a stretch of the darkest depths of the Southern Indian Ocean aboard the Royal Research Ship Discovery.

The scientists were carrying out research for the Benthic Crozet project which is a major exploration of the waters and ocean dwellers off the Crozet Islands. Dr King from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab was among those responsible for examining any marine creatures caught.

She said: ‘I could only identify the six so far – not down to species level. So we packed them into preservative and took them home.’

The Research Fellow then worked closely with Dr Peter Moller and Professor Jorgen Nielsen of the Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, and Professor Guy Duhamel of the Paris Natural History Museum before the three confirmed the six were indeed new to science.

Dr King said: ‘Ever since I set my heart on becoming a marine biologist I hoped I would discover one new species, so to have discovered six is tremendously exciting!’

New Species Names

Nikki and her taxonomy collaborators then had the honour of naming the deep sea creatures. As a result, Professor Monty Priede, Director of Oceanlab, can take great pride in the knowledge that somewhere in the deep lurks a pink eelpout bearing the name Pachycara priedei. Professor George Wolff from the University of Liverpool – who led the research expedition – was the inspiration for the snailfish now called Paraliparis wolffi.

The research expedition’s exploration area and the cruise vessel itself gave rise to Careproctus crozentensis, Apagesoma (new species) and Careproctus discoveryae. But of the six the closest to Nikki’s heart was a large 42cm long brown eelpout now known as Pachycara cousinsi which was named after the 27-year-old’s geophysicist fiancé Michael Cousins.

The team were fishing in an area that had only been sampled once previously during the voyage of the HMS Challenger 132 years ago.

1 thought on “Six new fish species discovered in Indian Ocean

  1. Pingback: Saving Indian Ocean seabirds | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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