New species of deep sea goby discovered


A new species of goby has been discovered living in deep water in the southern Caribbean.

Drs. Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson from the Smithsonian Institution discovered the small fish, which differs from its relatives not only in its size (up to 1.3in) and colours, but also in the depth of its habitat (70-80m).

Their finding comes as a part of the institution's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) and the new goby has been given the name Coryphopterus curasub in recognition of the Curasub submersible that was used in their deep-reef exploration, which can enable scientists to intensively study depths to 300m/1,000 ft.

"This is the fourth new deep-reef fish species described in two years from Curasub diving off Curacao," explained Baldwin, "Many more new deep-reef fish species have already been discovered and await description, and even more await discovery." She also pointed out that new species of molluscs and crustaceans have also been discovered, and a "biology bonanza" is highly likely as tropical deep reefs continue to be explored.

"Imagine conducting a census of people living in Washington, DC, but you only survey those inhabiting ground-level housing structures. If you don't know about the people living on second, third, fourth, etc., floors in apartment buildings and condominiums in a city packed with them, you're not getting a very complete picture of who lives here. Scientists' ignorance of the biodiversity inhabiting depths within a couple hundred metres of shallow coral reefs is similar."

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