New Species of Catfish Discovered

A new species of catfish has been discovered in Mexico. The species represents a new family of catfish and is only the and is only the third new family of fish found in the last sixty years. From the article:

Lundberg, the Academy’s Curator of Ichthyology, said only about 30 of the fish have been found since the 1990s and only one specimen was collected in a recent five-day expedition. “The unexpected discovery of this enigmatic new family of fishes in one of the world’s most biogeographically complex regions emphasizes how little we know about Mesoamerica’s biotic legacy and conservation value,” Lundberg said. “This find reminds us that the most basic scientific inventory of Earth’s biodiversity is woefully incomplete.”
Anatomical studies aided by high-resolution computer images allowed researchers to pinpoint key differences from other species in the bone structure of the skull, the shape of the air bladder and the articulation of a barbel (the part that resembles a cat’s whisker). Studies also show the fish is the only member of an ancient group that may have arisen millions of years ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
“Realizing now that the Chiapas catfish is highly unusual, it is critical that we learn the details of its diet and habitat requirements and reproductive biology,” Lundberg said. “This will require a focused study of the species in its natural habitat.”

That habitat is of concern to researchers, however. The fish was found in and around Montes Azules, a jungle reserve in a region threatened by logging, expansion of agriculture and cattle ranching and the damming of rivers.

From Catfish Bones

and this cool CT scan

Go here for more CT scans.

And here is something for the ID Creationist to think about. One species is a representitive of a family. What do you (ID Creationist) suppose it all means?

Snail’s Tales: Thanks for the Reminder

Darwin Statue at Shrewsbury Posted by Hello

Snail’s Tales has a timely reminder. July 1st is the 147th anniversery of Darwin and Wallace presenting the theory of Natural Selection before the Linnean Society.

Transitions News

DarkSyd at Unscrewing the Inscrutable has sent me a post on bird evolution for Transitions. Check it out! Thanks to DarkSyd – and everybody else who has participated, given me advice or mentioned it on their blog!

On a related note, one or more people (you ought to be ashamed of yourselves) tried to spam Transitions. Fortunately, Blogsome’s anti-spam software caught it all.

Can’t Resist One Last Post

Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena


Halliburton Overcharges by 1.4 Billion Dollars

According to this article Halliburton has overcharged the troops by 1.4 billion dollars. Yet Karl Rove thinks liberals do not support the troops!

The breakdown:

According to the report, released Monday by Democrats Sen. Byron Dorgan, N.D., and Rep. Henry Waxman, Calif., the audits show Halliburton subsidiary KBR racked up $813 million in questioned costs on an $8.6 billion logistics contract providing food and shelter and other support services to troops; $219 million in questioned costs on an Iraqi oil contract, and a total of $442 million in unsupported costs on the two contracts.

Questionable costs, as defined by Defense Department auditors, are those that would seem unreasonable to the average person. Unsupported costs are those the company can not provide documentation for.

Note, Halliburton can’t provide documentation on 442 million of it yet Durbin had to apologize for being unpatriotic. Sounds like a massive inversion of american moral values to me.

Deep Ocean Photosynthesis in Bacteria

This is cool.

Most bacteria use photosynthesis, powered by sunlight to create sugars for fuel. Recently, a species of bactera was discovered that uses light given off by hydrothermic vents to power the photsynthetic reaction.

From the article:

The bacteria have a sophisticated antenna system that allows them to collect the low light emanating from hydrothermal vents, the researchers explain in a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This light energy is then transferred to the organism’s reaction center, where photosynthesis takes place. “This shows that photosynthesis is something that is not limited only to the very surface of our planet,” Blankenship says. “It lets you consider other places where you might find photosynthesis on Earth as well as on other planets.”


I’m having trouble going to Transitions. Can’t get to Blogsome either. Anybody else having trouble?