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Scientists describe 2 new species of fish from area engulfed by oil spill
Date:7/8/2010

e (blunt or sharp), and arrangement of tubercles on the body; the presence or absence of dark bands on the pectoral fin; and the unique reticulate pigmentation patterns on the dorsal body surface. H. aculeatus, the re-described species, is characterized by a comparatively sparse arrangement of spiny tubercles and is distributed along the northeastern gulf coast as well as along the Florida, Georgia, and Carolina coasts. H. bispinosus is a newly described species with a characteristic pattern of densely arranged spiny tubercles covering the body and a geographic distribution similar to H. aculeatus. Finally, H. intermedius, the second newly described species, has a smooth, non-spiny dorsal surface and a geographic distribution that mirrors the current range of the Gulf oil spill. This last species does not have a known population outside of the Gulf of Mexico.

"These discoveries underscore the potential loss of undocumented biodiversity that a disaster of this scale may portend," says Sparks.


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Contact: Kristin Elise Phillips
kphillips@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History
Source:Eurekalert  

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