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Australians Have Accidentally Been Eating A Fish Unknown To Science



 The people of Australia appear to have been happily munching away on a fish species unknown to science. The newly described species has been christened Epinephelus fuscomarginatus and is a form of grouper. 


Back in 2000, a fisherman showed images of a mystery grouper to Queensland Museum fish expert Jeff Johnson. He struggled to get hold of any physical specimens, despite seeing more photos over the years, as they kept being traded for food. In 2017, however, Johnson came across five of the creatures waiting to be sold in Brisbane at a fish market. He purchased the fish and set out to work.


"I figured they were definitely a new species as soon as I saw them, so I bought all five and started the hard work of formally proving that they were a new species," Johnson said in a statement. 


Dr. Jessica Worthington Wilmer, geneticist at the Queensland Museum, carried out several experiments in the molecular laboratory of the Queensland Museum and had ample evidence to prove it was a new species after comparing it with other specimens in different museum collections. 


"I was told they were pretty tasty," he said.


The species isn't that distinctive-looking, which presumably explains why for so many years it fell through the net. It appears fairly unremarkable, sharing similarities with other Epinephelus genus groupers. However, what made Johnson stand out was a lack of markings on his body and dark edges around some of his fins. In Latin, fuscomarginatus means "dark-edged."


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