New Species of Giant Amazonian Fish
A new species of the giant fish arapaima has been discovered from the central Amazon in Brazil, raising questions about what other species remain to be discovered and highlighting the potential for ecological problems when animals are relocated from their native habitats.
“Everybody for 160 years had been saying there’s only one kind of arapaima. But we know now there are various species, including some not previously recognized. Each of these unstudied giant fishes needs conservation assessment,” said Dr. Donald Stewart of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), who made the discovery.
The discovery was reported in a paper Stewart recently published in the journal Copeia.
For two centuries, arapaima have been among the most important commercial fishes in freshwaters of the Amazon. “Arapaima have high economic, cultural and scientific value, but their diversity has been overlooked for too long,” Stewart said.
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