Monday, August 30, 2010

Bizarre new catfish from Peru

Loren Coleman and company at Cryptomundo have scooped me twice today on new species. Good for you, Loren.
This one, from a remote section of the Amazon in Peru, is really something. It's a big (looks 60cm or more?) armored catfish with outsized fins and a specialized vegetarian diet: it eats mainly wood that has fallen into the river. It has unusually-shaped teeth for scraping wood. Its other dietary item? The droppings of other catfish. Paulo Petry of the Nature Conservancy gets the credit for this find, which joins nine previously known species in the genus Panaque.

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