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A tiny, toothy catfish with bulldog snout defies classification
Date:5/13/2014

eding. In Kryptoglanis, we don't know yet what in their natural evolution would have led to this modified shape," Lundberg said. Based on its teeth and subterranean home, Lundberg said that Kryptoglanis most likely eats meat, in the form of small invertebrates and insect larvae whatever might be found in the groundwater and could be captured by the fish, which at less than ten centimeters is smaller than an adult human's pinkie finger. The fish can move swiftly in its environment, as evidenced by video footage of collected fish darting through water to grab food.

But why Kryptoglanis is so different, and what its closest relatives are, remains a mystery.

Lundberg's team wasn't alone in asking the question. Lundberg's team examined three specimens of Kryptoglanis using digital radiography, and one of these specimens using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography resulting in detailed, three-dimensional CAT scan images after careful preparation and analysis by Lundberg's colleague and co-author, Kyle Luckenbill, interim collection manager and a research assistant at the Academy. (A video visualization of the fish's internal bony structures is available at http://youtu.be/PBqndwVdnrc.)

At the same time, a separate team led by Ralf Britz at the Natural History Museum of London independently examined the bone structure of Kryptoglanis using a technique of visualizing the skeleton called clearing and staining a chemical method in which the fish's soft tissues are rendered as clear as glass and bones and cartilage are stained in contrasting colors. This team's description of the structures was published in the March 2014 issue of the journal Ichthyological Exploration of Freshwaters.

"There was an amazing congruence between the results," Lundberg said. "Neither of us was way out."

Neither could figure out which other catfishes Kryptoglanis was most
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Contact: Rachel Ewing
raewing@drexel.edu
215-895-2614
Drexel University
Source:Eurekalert  

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