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Eel meet again

October 2011

Eel meet again

A recently-discovered species has cast doubt on the process of evolution, according to an MSNBC science report.
    The eel, found in an underwater cave and reported on in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, is a ‘living fossil’, having seemingly ‘evolved out of step with the rest of us, retaining primitive characteristics’ associated with beasts from the dinosaur period.
    Called Protoanguilla — the first eel — the species dates back almost 200 million years, the Proceedings claims.
    Diver Jiro Sakaue, from Chiba University’s Natural History Museum and Institute, found the 1.7-inch long eel nearly 115 feet below the Pacific Ocean in the Republic of Palau.
    David Johnson, curator of the division of fishes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, said the eel’s tail fin rays extend back slightly farther than the adjacent fin rays, ‘another feature in which Protoanguilla appears to be primitive with respect to living eels’.

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