Friday, June 18, 2004

Ratfish Redux

Behold, the ratfish!

This is a "living fossil" discovered by Brazilian scientists. It's related to sharks and rays.

The so-called Age of Discovery, when such organizations as the National Geographic Society were having to continual update the lists of new creatures, flora, and peoples, pretty much came to an end with the culmination of the epoch of European imperial expansion. New species are still discovered (mostly arthropods and the like), but the pace has slowed to a comparative trickle.

The oceans are the last great frontier on the planet that have remained largely unexplored. Such discoveries as this ugly little fish hold out the possibility that a new Age of Discovery may yet exist in our future.

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