News / Science & Technology

Electric Buzz Surrounds New Fish Species

Various fews of the newly discovered Procerusternarchus pixuna electric fish are seen in this photo from the University of Massachusetts.
Various fews of the newly discovered Procerusternarchus pixuna electric fish are seen in this photo from the University of Massachusetts.

Related Articles

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Autonomous watercraft are becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean

Summit to Protect Oceans Opens

Oceans called fundamental to life

Scientists Decode Tsetse Fly Genome

The 10-year, 10-million dollar project could lead to better repellents
Scientists say they have discovered a new genus and species of electric knifefish in the Negro River of Brazil. 

The Procerusternarchus pixuna, is a small fish, ranging in size from 75 mm 138 mm, and the voltage they discharge is so small that it’s measured in microvolts, meaning a human would not be able to detect the electric current.
 
To put that in perspective, an electric eel, which is in the same order of species can emit up to 600 volts of electrical discharge.
 
Like the other fish in this genus, the Procerusternarchus pixuna uses its electric discharge mainly to locate other fish.
 
According to Professor Cristina Cox Fernandes at the University of Massachusetts Amherst a co-author of a paper describing Procerusternarchus pixuna, the fish do not swim in schools. In fact, they stay away from one another to avoid jamming each other’s electrical discharge. She added that male and females are able to change the amplitude of the discharge so as not to jam each other.
 
Just two decades ago, there were less than 100 species of electric fish documented, but that number has nearly doubled today, researchers said.
 
Last year, researchers at the University of Toronto Scarborough discovered another, previously unknown species of electric fish, the Akawio penak. The “thin eel-like” fish was discovered in shallow, murky water in the upper Mazaruni River area in northern Guyana.
 
Fernandes, along with with Adília Nogueira and José Antônio Alves-Gomes of the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia (INPA), Brazil, say that as more electric fish are discovered, scientists will develop a  better understanding of how these species have changed over time.
 
The Procerusternarchus pixuna was described in the current issue of the journal Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid