Thursday, August 21, 2008

A very big new fish species

The goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara, was always considered a species with a very large range, as it occurred in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. A genetic examination, though, has shown there are two species of this fish, which still look very similar but have been reproductively isolated for about 3.5 million years. Researchers led by Dr. Matthew Craig of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology have named the new Pacific species Epinephelus quinquefasciatus. Both species can be 1.8m long and weigh some 450 kg. Both are critically endangered.

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