Man-sized grouper declared new species

By | August 23, 2008

A man-sized grouper that trolls the tropical waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean for octopuses and crabs has been identified as a new fish species after genetic tests.

Called the goliath grouper, the fish can grow to six feet (1.8 meters) in length and weigh a whopping 1,000 pounds (454 kg). Until now, scientists had grouped this species with an identical looking fish (also called the goliath grouper, or Epinephelus itajara) living in the Atlantic Ocean.

“For more than a century, ichthyologists have thought that Pacific and Atlantic goliath grouper were the same species,” said lead researcher Matthew Craig of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, “and the argument was settled before the widespread use of genetic techniques.” – msnbc

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