This Rare Fish Has Fins That Work Like Hands

OuterPlacesPublished: January 29, 20181,709 plays$7.91 earned
Published: January 29, 2018

A research team from the University of Tasmania's Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies got wind from the public that a rare species of fish has been spotted in the reefs just a few miles off the coast of Tasmania. Naturally, their divers went in to investigate and they were not disappointed.

On a stretch of the reef about 400 square feet, they found eight peculiar-looking fish sporting gorgeous shades of red that seemed to be crawling along the ocean floor. Named for their pectoral fins that look eerily like human hands, the red handfish are deep ocean dwellers that travel along the floor with the help of their fins.

The red handfish can grow between two and five inches in length and come in two color variants, a bright red and just embellished with red markings. Their main course on the menu are small crustaceans and worms.

According to Rick Stuart-Smith, a research fellow at the University of Tasmania, “the species is easily one of the rarest fish in the world. The elusive fish were first spotted near Port Arthur on the Tasman Peninsula in the 1800s. Until now, a group of only 20 to 40 fish were known to be living on a stretch of reef near Hobart's Frederick Henry Bay.”

In a statement, Stuart-Smith said: “We’ve already learned a lot from finding this second population because their habitat isn’t identical to that of the first population. So we can take some heart from knowing red handfish are not as critically dependent on that particular set of local conditions.” (source: National Geographic)

And people still want to go in space instead.

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