A group of international researchers had been studying the Indo-Pacific region for four years before making their fascinating discovery. It is the first new species of this type of fish in 130 years.
“The new species managed to evade discovery for nearly three centuries by ‘hiding’ in a messy history of sunfish taxonomy, partially because they are so difficult to preserve and study, even for natural history museums,” said lead author of the study Marianne Nyegaard.
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The study, published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, saw Nyegaard travel thousands of miles of New Zealand’s coast collecting samples from 27 specimens of the new species on the country’s remote beaches.
The sunfish is the heaviest of all osteichthyes, or bony fish, and can grow as long as three meters (10ft) and can weigh as much as 2 tons (4,400lbs).
Researchers from …