Researchers have discovered the world’s largest cave fish in a remote and densely forested area of the Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya. The fish is growing to nearly a foot and half in length and weighing about 10 times more than any known species on record, the National Geographic reported.
The troglomorphic fish was discovered in February 2019. It is by far, the largest known subterranean fish found to date. Initial investigations indicate it is a close anatomical match to Tor putitora but differs in its depigmentation, lack of eyes and in its subterranean habitat.
“The fish discovered in Meghalaya is not only substantially longer than the longest previously known species but is considerably more bulky with a body mass likely to exceed that of the next largest cavefish by at least an order of magnitude,” the research paper stated.
The paper added, “The fish discovered in the Jaintia Hills of Meghalaya in February 2019 is by far the largest troglobiotic fish yet known, and is nearly 5 times the mean length (85mm) for all known subterranean fishes to date. The only other species exceeding 300mm in length are eel-like Synbranchidae with nothing like the bulk of the new fish. The large size of the latter is probably related to a plentiful food supply.”
Photo credit: National Geographic