MILLERSVILLE, Pa., Feb. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The world will soon learn about two new species of fish, thanks to the work of Dr. Dominique Dagit, a biology professor at Millersville University of Pennsylvania and a graduate student from California, Jenny Kemper. The two, along with Dr. James Cosentino, a biology professor from Millersville University, recently traveled to New Zealand to study chimaeroids fishes. All three made the 8,000 mile journey to Wellington, New Zealand where they spent two weeks examining an extensive collection of chimaeroids fish. These fish are in the Order Chimaeriformes and are closely related to sharks.
The work was funded by the National Museum of New Zealand Te papa Tongarewa and also a "Tree of Life" grant to Dagit provided by the National Science Foundation.
In addition to studying this extensive collection of fish, Dagit completed the task of naming all of the unknown species of chimaeroids that live in New Zealand waters. "This will bring the total number of new species of chimaeroids that I've named to 15 which is 31 percent of all known chimaeroids in the world. In other words, of this whole entire Order of fishes, I've described one third of them," explained Dagit.
As a result of their research, Dagit and Kemper, a graduate student at Moss Landing Marine laboratory in Moss Landing, Calif., are co-authoring three chapters in a soon-to-be published book titled "Fishes of New Zealand."
"We are also describing these two new species of chimaeroid fishes. One of the species will be named for Dr. Cosentino who came along and helped out with our work," said Dagit.
SOURCE Millersville University