Friday, January 18, 2008

Red Sea Reveals New Species of Moray Eel

The Red Sea is the gift that keeps on giving!

This species was discovered by Shai Einbinder during a fish course that was taking place at the Interuniversity Institute for Marine Sciences of Eilat (IUI). The specimen was fished from 200m depth near the edge of the deep coral reef. It was described by Shai and Eran Brokovich of the IUI, with the help of the fish taxonomist David Smith from the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

They named the eel Gymnothorax Baranesi in tribute to Dr. Avi Baranes, one of the few people who have dedicated their career to research of the deep bottom of the Gulf of Aqaba, and described, together with Dr. Dani Golani (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) many new species of fish.

Surprise Discovery
This finding of a new species in only 200m in a well studied area stresses the importance of deep coral reef research. The fact that the new species was collected in an area that has been well studied for many years (and in fact, directly in front of a major marine laboratory) indicates how much we still have to learn about the marine habitat.

No comments: