Sri Lankans name new type of fish after Richard Dawkins

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Sri Lankan scientists have identified a new genus of fresh water fish and named it after the evolutionary biologist and renowned atheist Richard Dawkins.


Lead researcher Rohan Pethiyagoda said the new genus, named Dawkinsia, comprises nine species that are found only in South Asia and are characterised by long filaments that trail from the dorsal fins of males.

The fish has previously been classified under the genus Puntius, comprising around 120 species of small tropical fish known as barbs.

Pethiyagoda, an ichthyologist and internationally acclaimed conservationist, said extensive studies in India and Sri Lanka showed that the level of diversity among such fish was “much greater than previously suspected”.

This was partly the reason that the study group had chosen to name the new genus after the 71-year-old Dawkins, the British author of the anti-religion polemic, The God Delusion.

“Richard Dawkins has through his writings helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined,” Pethiyagoda told AFP on Monday.


continue to source article at telegraph.co.uk

10 COMMENTS

  1.   This was partly the reason that the study group had chosen to name the new
    genus after the 71-year-old Dawkins, the British author of the anti-religion
    polemic, The God Delusion.

    Don’t tell me the journalist couldn’t think of a more relevant book to the subject?

    The genus reclassification followed an eight-year study of the DNA, bone
    structures and overall anatomy of Puntius species.

    You know!  This subject!

  2. I agree. The God Delusion is just one of his better known works, and it wasn’t even about evolution (though it does reference it). The Selfish Gene, or Climbing Mount Improbable would have been better titles to mention.

    That is a beautiful fish. I wonder what the black spot near its tail is for…

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