Hungarian scientists trying to keep Russian sturgeons captive and American paddlefish captive to help their depleted numbers have inadvertently created what the Internet calls “sturddlefish,” a hybrid version of two freshwater inhabitants.
This species, revealed in Genes magazine on July 6, was randomly generated by a process called gynogenesis, a form of asexual production that requires sperm but not DNA from it.
The hybrid was set up at the Research Institute for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Hungary and shocked water scientists. Although both species are among the longest-lived largest freshwater fish – sturgeon can grow up to 7 feet and paddlefish 8.5 feet, the differences between the two species are quite significant.
The Russian sturgeon, whose eggs are prized for caviar, is a carnivore that eats molluscs and crustaceans from the bottom of lakes, rivers and coastal lowlands. The American paddlefish, known for its long snout and thousands of sensory receptors, filters zooplankton for food and is found in 22 states.
“When I saw it, I took a double shot,”; an aquatic ecologist at Louisiana State University in Nicholls told the New York Times. “I just didn’t believe it. I thought hybridization between sturgeon and paddle? Is not possible.”
Some of the laboratory creatures are 50 to 50 mixtures of their sturgeon / paddlefish parents, while others look more like blunt-nosed sturgeon. According to living science, however, they are all carnivores.
The survival of hybrid family groups ranged from 62% to 74% 30 days after hatching, leaving about 100 stiardlefish, although they will be the last of their kind because the scientists who created them suspect they like both mules and ligands – crossing between a lion and a tigers, fish are sterile.
Nevertheless, scientists still admire that the two species, separated by 184 million years of development, could indeed merge.
“I think it’s pretty cool that these living fossils can still surprise us,” David said.
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