Most specialized species on Earth?

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Most specialized species on Earth?

Post by Croix » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:51 am

            • Thailand Troglobites | Cave Angelfish

Are these blind, cave-dwelling, rock-clinging fish the most specialized species on Earth?
Caves are Planet Earth's final frontier and this programme will go where few have been before.

Caves are one of the only habitats not directly driven by sunlight but this doesn't mean there's no wildlife.

Cave angel fish are perhaps the most adapted creatures on earth since they live only on cave waterfalls - hanging on with microscopic hooks on their flattened fins. Until now they have never been filmed before.
Source: ... aves.shtml
Member of the family Balitoridae (Loaches) belonging to the order Cypriniformes (Carps). This group of fish is known for their non-visual senses and its a good thing since this fish is perhaps one of the most specialised species on earth inhabiting only waterfalls within caves in Thailand. This fish has no eyes and lives out its entire life within the cave. They hang on to rock with microscopic hooks on their flattened fins. Their diet is bacteria. They were filmed for the first time for the BBC documentary Planet Earth.
Source: ... lfish.html
“ These troglobites from Thailand are possibly the most specialized creatures on Earth, for they only live in cave waterfalls. The entire population of these Cave Angelfish seems to be restricted to just two small caves. The Cave Angelfish feed on bacteria in the fast-flowing water, keeping their grip with microscopic hooks on their fins... ”
Source: Audio taken from BBC's Planet Earth's "Caves" -

If you are interested in an image of a Cave Angelfish, here is one...
Cave Angelfish are featured in BBC's Planet Earth's episode of "Caves".
The YouTube video linked in the last quote also shows how they hook and maneuver through waterfalls.

Quite interesting little 'fellas. I'd definitely like to see more research done on them. c:

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Re: Most specialized species on Earth?

Post by failwolf56 » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:31 pm

Oh, too cool. I love learning about new fish species! I'm a huge fish fanatic. This is just an interesting thing to read, I've never heard of these cave dwelling angelfish. I'm thinking about looking them up, since I too want to learn more about them. Thanks you for sharing Croix^
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Re: Most specialized species on Earth?

Post by Tita » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:39 am

That's so neat! They're beautiful fish as well. I haven't heard of cave angelfish either.
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