New Species Gallery: Expedition into Suriname's Jungles - Armored Catfish (Pseudacanthicus sp.) [LiveScience 2012-01-24]
Credit: © Kenneth Wang Tong You
Conservation International (CI) announced, on Jan. 24, 2012, results from a three-week survey in southwest Suriname that documented nearly 1,300 species, including 46 species that may be new to science. Called the Rapid Assessment Program (RAP), the survey explored three remote sites along the Kutari and Sipaliwini Rivers near the village of Kwamalasumutu from August to September 2010, in an effort to document the region’s poorly known biodiversity and help develop sustainable ecotourism opportunities for the local people.
Shown here, a catfish species (Pseudacanthicus sp.) whose armor (external bony plates) is covered with spines. The armor likely protects the fish from the huge piranhas in the Sipaliwini River where it lives. The river it lives in is full of huge piranhas, so it must be well defended. One of the local guides was about to snack on this fish, until the experts preserved it as a scientific specimen.