Fish taxonomy × SDGs
The oceans are full of life and rich in diversity. To understand the diversity of life, we need to define individual species and assign them names (scientific names) so that we can identify and distinguish them. If there is no name, a new name is given as a new species. The discipline that does this is taxonomy. I would like to contribute to SDG 14 (LIFE BELOW WATER) by spreading knowledge of taxonomy throughout the world through fish.
「Elucidation of species diversity」
More than 34,000 living species of fishes are known from the world. The species number of fishes continues to increase and 300 to 500 new species of fishes are described every year. This continued describing of many new species indicates that the diversity of fishes is still not well understood. Therefore, it is necessary to research fish species diversity based on morphology.
Explain what it means to “discover new species”
What you can think
1. to conduct research in unexplored places to discover unusual organisms and to confirm that they are new species.
2. new species are discovered by examining academic specimens that have already been collected and deposited in research facilities such as museums. As a result of comparing the described species with the characteristics of the specimens, if it is confirmed that the specimens are inconsistent with diagnoses of described species, it is determined that they belong to an undescribed species (= new species after described).
Scientific identification of fishes, revision of diagnoses of fish species, and description of a new species, all of which are interesting to fish taxonomy.
Researchers in Hokkaido University have discovered new fish species by the two approaches mentioned above.
Example of Research
At Hokkaido University, we have been actively researching fish taxonomy. There are 193 new species described. Then, how are “new species” discovered? Go to the next slide to get the answer.