Protoanguilla palau – New ‘Living Fossil’ eel named and filmed

By on Aug 17, 2011

Protoanguilla palau is a new living fossil eel recently described from discoveries in Palau. Masaki Miya, Jiro Sakaue, and G David Johnson were three scientist who discovered this special eels that said to be a new ‘living fossil’ as it has been evolving independently for the last two hundred million years ago, at the time dinosaurs roaming the planet. They found out that it is a new species and a new genus and named it Protoanguilla palau. In the video below the new eel looks like a giant Brotulids dress in black with moving dorsal.

The fish that is being collected at a 35m-deep cave in the Republic of Palau was an 18cm-long female.  Protoanguilla palau has a pre-historic look and move differently from any others, but the genetic analysis confirmed that it is a ‘True’ eel. “In some features it is more primitive than recent eels, and in others, even more primitive than the oldest known fossil eels, suggesting that it represents a ‘living fossil’ without a known fossil record. It must have once been more widely distributed, because the undersea ridge where its cave home is located is between 60 and 70 million years old ” said the research team.
As it is native to lesser depth than other living fossil, there is a tendency that we might find this amazing creature in one of the LFS in a coming future. I’m sure that it will be fetching a very high price and go to Japan or US as soon as they got the first catch.

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[via BBC News].

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14547942

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