Devoid of scales and pigmentation, the ‘Sinocyclocheilus longicornus’ was found in Guizhou province.
A team of researchers found in the depths of a cave in China a new species of blind fish that has a horn on its head, according to a study published in the journal ZooKeys.
The morphological characteristics of the new species allowed it to be attributed to the genus of Chinese endemic fish ‘Sinocyclocheilus’ that usually inhabit small dark ponds, reports LiveScience.
Most of them, like other cave dwellers, have little or no vision, no scales, and no pigmentation in a process known as regressive evolution, in which species lose complex features over generations.
The new species, named Sinocyclocheilus longicornus, was found in a small mountain cave pond just 1.8 meters wide and 0.8 meters deep in China’s Guizhou province, during a survey expedition. of cave fish.
The size of the body of the fish reaches 10-14 centimeters, it has tiny rudimentary eyes, which have already lost their functions. Thus, two pairs of whisker-like wattles help him orient himself in the dark. On the sides it also has a layer of highly sensitive cells, which react to changes in pressure, temperature and salinity of the water.
At the moment, scientists have not been able to clarify the main function of the horn, which is also present in some other species of this genus such as ‘Sinocyclocheilus angularis’ or ‘Sinocyclocheilus microphthalmus’.