Europe's First Cave Fish Discovered

Posted: Apr 5 2017, 1:59am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
First Cave Fish Discovered in Europe
This 8.5cm cave loach is an example of the first cave fish found in Europe. Credit: Jasminca Behrmann-Godel via BBC News
  • The Discovery that Surprised Aquatic Life Experts as they Found Europe’s First Cave Fish

The first ever cave fish in Europe has been discovered on a diving expedition and scientists are surprised to find it

Every new day, scientists and explorers in all fields of science are making new discoveries. While there are many species that are being reported to be at risk of extinction, no one can deny that newer species of flora and fauna are being discovered as well.

Something similar happened to Joachim Kreiselmaier who was on a diving expedition to explore the Danube-Aach cave system in the northern part of South Germany. There he came upon a species of fish that looked unique and unknown to him.

Luckily, Kreiselmaier had a camera to take a picture of the fish and returned to show it to Dr. Jasminca Behrmann-Godel, an expert in fish evolution at the University of Konstanz in south-west Germany.

Together they decided that they had indeed discovered something new. New it was indeed because together they had discovered Europe’s first ever cave dwelling fish, according to BBC News.

Behrmann-Godel elaborated that the discovery of this fish is incredible as it was previously believed that the Pleistocene glaciations had prevented fish from colonizing subterranean habitats in the far northern areas.

Kreiselmaier then returned to bring back a live specimen for live examination of the fish and they discovered that it was a loach and can be closely related to stone loaches found in the nearby rivers, the Danube and the Radolfzeller Aach. Many also believe that it could be a new species altogether.

A photo of the fish has been released for the world to see and according to the expert’s description, the fish is pale and scale less. It’s translucent skin allows the observer to see the blood vessels inside.

The fish’s eyes are small and bent inwards. They do not react to light like normal fish as well. Scientists believe that these cave dwelling fish might have been the result of the evolutionary cycle which is in motion for the past 20,000 years.

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