Scientists have discovered previously unknown creatures similar to unicorns

15.06.2024/17/30 XNUMX:XNUMX    7

According to a study published in ZooKeys, scientists discovered blind, colorless creatures in a Chinese cave that have a characteristic horn. Success in UA.

But these are not the unicorns that may be familiar from movies and books. Scientists discovered a previously unknown species of fish.

Probably the last thing you would expect when exploring a dark cave in China is to find a unicorn. But scientists have done just that. They discovered a new species of fish belonging to the genus Sinocyclocheilus. These fish have an unusual appearance and, of course, have a classic unicorn horn, reports

Scientists studied the diversity of cave fish in southern China and collected 32 specimens. As the study showed, 15 of these fish belonged to a previously unknown species. The researchers conducted a thorough analysis of the discovered fish, compared their appearance and characteristics with other known species of the Sinocyclocheilus genus, and named the new species Sinocyclocheilus longicornus. This name comes from the Latin words longus, meaning long, and cornu, meaning horn.

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Scientists have discovered previously unknown creatures similar to unicorns

According to the scientists, together with the new species, the total number of known species of fish in the genus Sinocyclocheilus is now 77, and all of them live in China. In addition, 13 of them were found by researchers in the same province as the new species of fish.

Cavefish Sinocyclocheilus longicornus have a horn-like appendage on the forehead and small, degraded eyes. So scientists came to the conclusion that these creatures have very poor vision or are almost blind at all. But these fish do not need eyes, because they live in complete darkness.

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According to the authors of the study, some species of fish of the genus Sinocyclocheilus do not have a characteristic horn, but live in more illuminated cave water. Therefore, scientists believe that the horn may be related to the way of life of a new species of fish in complete darkness.

Scientists have discovered previously unknown creatures similar to unicorns

Sinocyclocheilus longicornus cavefish are 10,5 to 14,6 cm long, their scales are devoid of pigmentation, so they have a colorless ghostly whitish appearance. The reservoir in which the discovered fish live is only 1,8 m wide and less than 1 m deep. Scientists found out that the previously unknown species of fish was not closely related to other species of this genus that have horns. The authors of the study say that comparing the environmental conditions where the new species lives with the living conditions of other species of "unicorns" can help to find out why the horn on the forehead of these fish is needed.

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