Featured Image Credit: Rick Stuart- Smith
The red handfish (Thymichthys politus) is considered the rarest species of fish in the world was found off the Tasmanian coast.
Their unique finger-like fins allow them to walk across the surface of the ocean floor, which separates them apart from any other fish species. Only 20-40 individuals of the red handfish could be discovered until now. However, a study suggests that finding a new colony of red handfish is promising.
Antonia Cooper led a diving team from the IMAS University of Tasmania where the rare fish was spotted.
“We were diving for approximately three and a half hours, and at about the two-hour mark we were all looking at each other thinking this is not looking promising” said Antonia Cooper “My dive partner went to tell the other divers that we were going to start heading in, and I was half-heartedly flicking algae around when I found a red handfish.
A study conducted by experts found that red handfishes are bad at swimming as their 2-5 inch bodies which leaves them to be inefficient in swimming.
Another factor that makes the red handfishes unique is their style of colonizing. With their limitation in mobility due to them walking the seafloor, their colonies measure only 50 meters by 20 meters- almost doubt the size of a tennis court.
IMAS University of Tasmania has set up another team to follow up on their recent discovery.
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