Thursday, April 21, 2011

Living Donkeyfish Captured

Filed by E C Koch
ITITY Science Reporter

Queensland AU

The curious subject of Guugu Yimithirr legend since time immemorial, the mysterious and bizarre Donkeyfish, which has long been considered a mythical creature of Aboriginal oral history, has been found to actually exist.

The marine biology department of the University of Alice Springs, the same institution that recently discovered the White Elephant Bird, while conducting field research at the Great Barrier Reef, observed and captured a live Donkeyfish, Sarcopterygii Jaxassis, and has brought it back to the university for further study.

Incredibly a large number of characteristics attributed to the Donkeyfish, which until recently were wholly discounted as impossible, have in fact been maintained through observation.

Contrary to what most biologists have come to expect from prey species, the Donkeyfish does not appear to travel in schools but rather elects to swim on its own, often changing their trajectory based on the positions of other Donkeyfish around them. The Donkeyfish also appears to only be able to move with the direction of the tides, making the reef an ideal habitat. Some Donkeyfish that tried to swim against the current were seen to be in great discomfort, and could not continue for very long.

Most notably the Donkeyfish’s ability to persist as a species has been called into question due to its extreme mortality. Like other species of its genus the Donkeyfish will go belly-up at the first sign of confrontation. Also they are completely intolerant to temperature change, and if put under any kind of pressure have been seen to quickly shrivel up and die, making the live capture of a Donkeyfish an even more remarkable feat.

University biologists, after observing the fish for several days, are already sardonically quipping that, should you want to see a live Donkeyfish, you should leave now.

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