The Congo River: Hotbed of weird fish diversity

A recent expedition to the Congo River found that fish isolated by waterfalls and the strong current have gotten really, really weird. Check out the elephant fish, which uses its crazy snout to hunt for food on the muddy bottom:

The leader of the expedition, fish biologist Melanie Stiassny, called their findings “evolution on steroids.”

20 Responses to The Congo River: Hotbed of weird fish diversity

  1. Irradiatus says:

    My first response:

    “What the…wait…WHOA!!!!!”

  2. Looks more like an aardvark than an elephant. Interesting about the waterfall being an island type ecosystem … but it makes some sense too.

  3. [...] The Congo River: Hotbed of Weird Fish Diversity [...]

  4. Lyndell says:

    Just gotta love adaptations resulting from barriers. Do they know enough yet to know if this is a speciation event or still sub-species of the original population?

  5. Lyndell – They took genetic samples so hopefully they’ll know soon!

  6. DNLee says:

    wow..a face only a mother could love.

    Oh and congrats on getting in the top 25 NatureBlogNetwork Blogs. You just recently joined and already heating up the charts!!

  7. [...] the Love Child of a… Check out the “elephant fish,” a fish with a snout it uses to forage for food on the muddy bottom of the Congo River.  [...]

  8. KaylinQ says:

    Oh Oh Oh! I have one of those in my aquarium! I read something about the brain size to body weight ratio being bigger than ours too. I think in some places (germany?) they also use them to test the water quality. Very interesting fish to say the least.

  9. Kaylin – you have an elephant fish in your aquarium??? AWESOME.

  10. Brandon Clark says:

    No he doesn’t…

  11. Dr. Vladenik Spethnik says:

    Robert if you meant that a waterfall acts, by being a barrier, similiar as distance between island chains and mainland than yes it does make sense…also shows how daming is changing native species here in the USA and anywhere for that matter by being barriers…

  12. Steven Riggle says:

    Only if his pH in his tank is equivalent to those in the Congo, which is highly doubtful. As well, he would need simliar substrate and a bottom based food source that can be rooted…which I doubt he has, nor could these fish likely survive in a visibly clean aquarium, just look at their turbid waters in their native habitat…not to mention how did he get something that rare and unknown…fly there and buy one off a local, yeah right…

  13. Ross Evans says:

    Im just in the process of ordering some of these fish from a fish exporter in the Congo, they do ok in the aquarium as well. They root around in the substrate for small bugs and things. These will eat bloodworm and water flee’s

  14. i like me says:

    this is nice

  15. Anonymous says:

    oh poop

  16. Anonymous says:

    Obvious an elephant fish.

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