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Researchers identify new catfish family

hor to the sides of the bone instead of coming up on top. That and a number of other characters clearly indicate it has nothing to do with ictalurids."

The animal and plant life of Mesoamerica is exceptionally diverse with distinct origins from North America, South America and adjacent oceans.

They said Lacantunia enigmatica appears not to fit any of those patterns and thus the name of the species reflects the mystery surrounding its origins and relationships.

The generic name of the fish reflects its distribution in the Río Lacantún drainage, flowing through the Montes Azules and Selva Lacandona Biosphere Reserves in México into that country's largest river, the Río Usumacinta.

The fish is relatively rare in that the researchers have had a hard time finding many specimens. They collected just one specimen in a recent five-day expedition.

The researchers are concerned about the fish's habitat, which is threatened by exploitation of the forests and possible damming of the rivers it lives in.


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Source:University of Texas at Austin


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