Monday, April 22, 2013

Finding a fish in the library

Dr. Donald Steward of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry examines an Arapaima skeleton.
picture from

On the right is Dr. Donald Stewart of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, who rediscovered a species of giant airbreathing catfish, Arapaima agassizii, but not in a river. Instead, the distinctive fish was found in the first monographs describing the Amazon river, from the early 1800s. The article in the scientific journal Copeia is here. It's a tidy conjunction of library research and field science, when something that can only be found in a few libraries is of use to scholars looking for fish in the field. The next step will be finding the species outside of the library.

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