Wed, May 26, 2010
Sci-Tech > Science

New handfish species walk on by fins

2010-05-26 10:41:52 GMT2010-05-26 18:41:52 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Pink Handfish (Sina. com)

Spotted Handfish (Sina. com)

Red Handfish (Sina. com)

Ziebell's Handfish (Sina. com)

BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhuanet) -- Handfishes have hand-like fins, and they tend to "walk" rather than swim. Fifty million years ago, the small, colorful, and sedentary fish species "walked" the world's oceans, but now they exist only off eastern and southern Australia.

Nine new species of handfish have been described by CSIRO in research that highlights an urgent need to better understand and protect the diversity of life in Australia's oceans.

Only four specimens of Pink Handfish are known and was last recorded off the Tasman Peninsula in 1999. The Pink Handfish will feature in a photographic exhibition of Australia’s marine biodiversity that opens today (21 May) at Questacon in Canberra.

The Spotted Handfish is listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Red Handfish and Ziebell’s Handfish are listed as vulnerable.

(Agencies)

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