Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Researchers In Palau Find Eel Equivalent Of The Coelacanth - Poss. 200 Million Years Old

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU
 
hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-19-11 12:44 PM
Original message
Researchers In Palau Find Eel Equivalent Of The Coelacanth - Poss. 200 Million Years Old


The ocean holds endless surprises still. In an underwater cave off the Pacific island nation of Palau, reachers have made an astounding discovery: an eel species unknown to science that harkens back 200 million years. The new species, described in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B as an 'enigmatic, small eel-like fish', sports anatomical features that differentiate it from the over 800 known species of eel surviving today.

"The equivalent of this primitive eel, in fishes, has perhaps not been seen since the discovery of the coelacanth in the late 1930s," says Dave Johnson, ichthyologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and lead author of the team's research, in a press release. Before its discovery in the 1930s, the coelacanth was only known from fossils dating back 70 million years. However, even the eel fossil record has never shown anything quite like this.

The new species, named Protoanguilla palau, sports a second upper jaw bone and less than 90 vertebrate. These two features have only been seen in fossil eels going going to the Cretaceous. But another feature breaks all the rules: the animal has a complete set of 'rakers' in its gill arches, which has only been seen in bony fish, never before in eels either alive or fossilized. To determine its truly relationship to eels and bony fish, the researchers analyzed the animal's mitochondrial DNA and found that it is a 'true eel'. The animal likely appeared some 200 million years ago, just at the very end of the Triassic period.

"We believe that such a long, independent evolutionary history, <...> retention of several primitive anatomical features and apparently restricted distribution, warrant its recognition as a living fossil," says Johnson.

The eel's genus, Protoanguilla, created for this one species, means 'first eel'.

EDIT

http://news.mongabay.com/2011/0818-hance_firsteel.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-19-11 12:49 PM
Response to Original message
1. Early reports indicate they are "delicious"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-19-11 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
2. Sorry. Won't eat Sushi unless it's fresh - 200 million year old eel roll.
:9
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat Jul 26th 2014, 11:25 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Environment/Energy Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC