New Cave Fish Discovered in Madagascar Named After Sinkhole Fever

Posted on August 8, 2013

Typhleotris mararybe

The Guardian reports the discovery of a new cave fish. The cave fish, Typhleotris mararybe, was discovered in a sinkhole in Madagascar by John S. Sparks, of the American Museum of Natural History, and Prosanta Chakrabarty, of Louisiana State University. The fish was named after mararybe, a strange debilitating viral illness known locally as the "big sickness" or "sinkhole fever." The small fish is 1.5 inches (38 mm) long. It has no eyes, but it does have sensory canals and pores on its head.

The Guardian reports that the researchers had to climb down into the water in the sinkhole using a chain ladder to find the previously unknown cave fish. The locals were unaware of the new fish the scientists discovered, although they were aware of other types of fish in the sinkhole.

Photo: John S Sparks/American Museum of Natural History

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