A strange species known as “handfish” is noted for using its hands instead of fins as other fish do. Seven of the 14 species of this uncommon fish are found only in the waters between Tasmania and the Bass Strait. Here’s all we know.
Endangered fish resurfaced on Australian beach after 20 years
Spotted: a handfish! 👀Last weekend, a runner found a critically endangered spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) in Tasmania. Unfortunately the fish was dead, but it’s exciting evidence of life of a population we’d thought was locally extinct since 2005. pic.twitter.com/UzYHVZeTcO
— CSIRO (@CSIRO) September 10, 2023
These unusual fish were last seen more than 20 years ago, according to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). However, recent findings made by Kerri Yare, an Australian, while running along a beach at Primrose Sands, Tasmania, Australia, have given reason for optimism.
The species was previously thought to be extinct in the area, but this discovery is driving greater investigation down the coastline to find more of these creatures.
According to the woman who found it, “I’m always interested in any wildlife I see when running. It appeared to be a small pufferfish or toadfish, which I had seen a lot of, but when I peered closer, I could make out its tiny hand-shaped fins hidden beneath a coating of sand. Undoubtedly, it was a ‘wow moment’.”
CSIRO shared the video of the creature on Twitter and wrote, “Spotted: a handfish. Last weekend, a runner found a critically endangered spotted handfish (Brachionichthys hirsutus) in Tasmania. Unfortunately, the fish was dead, but it’s exciting evidence of life of a population we’d thought was locally extinct since 2005.”
Only 2,000 of these creatures are left in the world
Carlie Devine, a research worker at CSIRO, shared important information and mentioned that there are just 2,000 of these animals left on the globe. It was thought that the spotted handfish population in Primrose Sands had vanished until the most recent finding.
A few years ago, they even conducted searches, but they turned up nothing, leading to the notion that they had vanished. However, this recent discovery has given them newfound hope and encouraged them to carry out additional searches in the area.
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