Some 20th century fish discoveries
Author: Berra, T.M.
Source: Environmental Biology of Fishes, Volume 50, Number 1, 1997 , pp. 1-12(12)
Abstract:Of the approximately 1.5 million species described to date, about 48 170 (3.2%) are vertebrates. Of these 24 618 (51%) are fishes. Amazingly, 41%of fishes are found in fresh water which makes up a negligible percentage of the water on earth. The sea accounts for 97% of all water on the planet and contains 58%of the fish species, mostly from shallow, warm-coastal areas. The families Cichlidae, Cyprinidae, Characidae, Loricariidae, and Cyprinodontidae constitute about half of all the recently described new freshwater fish species named in the period 1978–1993. The Gobiidae and Serranidae are the marine families with the largest number of recently described new species. The most new freshwater teleost names came from South America (39%), Africa (32%) and Asia (17%). New fish species continue to be described at the rate of roughly 130–160 each year. An estimated 13 775 new fish names have been proposed in this century, representing about 56% of all currently known fish species. Three species are discussed in detail to represent remarkable examples of 20th century fish discoveries: the coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, the salamanderfish Lepidogalaxias salamandroides of Western Australia, and the megamouth shark Megachasma pelagios.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Department of Zoology, The Ohio State University, Mansfield, OH 44906, U.S.A.
Publication date: 1997-01-01