Conservation organization Shoal announced that scientists have discovered 212 new freshwater fish species in the last year—a remarkable feat not only for the unprecedented number, but also for all the extraordinary creatures it represents. The New Species 2021 report includes the Hopliancistrus wolverine (aka the Wolverine fish), which surprised researchers with a hidden weapon system tucked underneath its gill covers. Other species—like the Mumbai blind eel (which has no fins or scales) and the male Danionella cerebrum (which can make drumming sounds)—were unusual finds. “It’s fascinating that over 200 new freshwater fish species can be described in just a single year,” says Shoal’s conservation program manager Harmony Patricio. “It means there are still hundreds and hundreds more freshwater fish out there in the world that scientists don’t know about yet.” With more than one third of freshwater species currently threatened with extinction, this discovery comes at a critical time to bring awareness. Learn more at The Guardian.
Image by Juan Marcos Mirande, Fundacion Miguel Lillo; courtesy of PLoS One