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UK-Based Researchers Discover World’s Biggest Cavefish in India’s Hilly Meghalaya

New Delhi (Sputnik): India’s hilly north-eastern state of Meghalaya – a Sanskrit word that translates to “abode of clouds” in English -- has an abundance of wonders. The region, which is also one of the rainiest parts of the world, has a diverse landscape of forests, hills, rivers and caves.

A team of UK-based researchers confirmed that they have discovered the largest known cavefish in an underground trench in the Meghalaya.

​In 2019, a team of biologists including Daniel Harries from Edinburgh-based Heriot-Watt University and Swiss caving enthusiast Thomas Arbenz,  first spotted the unusual species of the cavefish, which is nearly a foot and half in length and over 10 times heavier than any known cavefish.

The new findings were recently confirmed by National Geographic.

The underground chamber where the potentially “still-developing” cavefish species was located is called the Um Ladaw Cave – which stretches reaches more than 300 feet below the surface.

According to biologists involved in the investigation, the large fish is likely to be a vegetarian although research on what the marine animal survives on when vegetation washes away in rains is still ongoing.

The new cavefish is also being genetically linked to the “Golden Mahseer” species, which is an endangered species of cyprinid fish, usually found in rapid streams, riverine pools and lakes in the Himalayas.



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