May 19 - Scientists at Drexel University in Philadelphia are stumped. A small subterranean catfish first described in 2011 is proving impossible to classify, thanks to a skeletal structure that's unlike any other. Rob Muir reports.
Kryptoglanis shajii is not like any other catfish. Native to southwest India, it was first descibed three years ago, but it has scientists baffled. Not only does Kryptoglanis have the face of a bulldog..it has an internal skeletal structure unlike any other species. Using digital x-ray tomography, researchers led by Dr John Lundberg at Drexel University looked inside Kryptoglanis. Lundberg says certain bones are so strangely shaped they may be unique, not just among catfish but all fish. For that reason, Kryptoglanis defies classification. Lundberg says it probably eats small invertebrates and insect larvae. He says it has adapted to its environment, but is so unlike any other catfish it may end up occupying a scientific family of its own. The search for relatives continues but Lundberg says, so does the mystery.