Picture of the world's smallest fish
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
January 26, 2006
Scientists have found the smallest known fish in the peat swamps of Sumatra, an island in Indonesia, according to research published in Proceedings B, a journal put out by the UK's Royal Society.
Lead researcher, Dr Maurice Kottelat of the National University of Singapore, says the species has "a very rudimentary skull", which leaves the brain exposed. The team also found a related Paedocypris species, P. micromegethes, in Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo.
Kottelat warn that these tiny fish are at great risk of extinction die to the rapid destruction of Indonesian peat swamps for oil palm plantations. According to Dr Susan Page at the University of Leicester, at the current rate of burning, peatlands in Borneo, Sumatra and Papua New Guinea could be destroyed before 2040, releasing a vast amount of carbon into the atmosphere.
The transparent Paedocypris progenetica.
Photo by Dr Tan Heok Hui.