Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New species of Antarctic fish discovered

New species of Antarctic fish discovered
CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have found a new species
of Antarctic fish that are about 13-inches long, thrive in the cold and have
an interorbital pit with two openings.

The new species of fish were discovered by Paul Cziko and Kevin Hoefling,
members of a University of Illinois-Champaign research team working in
McMurdo Sound in November 2004.

The scientists were diving in the area in search of dragonfish eggs for a
study concerning antifreeze proteins that was published earlier this year.

"We just came across this fish," Cziko recalled. "It was just sitting on the
bottom, like most other fish in the area. There are only about a dozen
species that swim in the area, with four to five easily distinguishable
species. This one jumped out at us. First of all it was pretty big, and it
looked quite different than the others."

The species was named Cryothenia amphitreta. Cryothenia translates from
Greek as "from the cold," while amphitreta literally means "an orifice with
two openings."

The research is detailed in the December issue of the journal Copeia.

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