Fresh Water Stingrays Discovered in Amazon

March 15, 2011
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Scientists have just discovered two new species of fresh water stingrays in the Amazon rainforest near the port city of Iquitos, Peru. These two stingray species both look like pancakes with noses. The two "pancake" species belong to the first new stingray genus found in the Amazon region in more than two decades. They also represent just the fourth neotropical stingray genera. In addition to their pancake-like appearance, both rays are big, have slits on their bellies and a tiny spine on their tails.

Travelers and scientists alike have always known that this area has a huge diversity of fish species, but the discovery of two "pancake" stingrays is opening eyes and imaginations.

"The most important thing this discovery tells us is that there are quite likely to be other large fishes in the Amazon yet to be discovered and described," said Nathan Lovejoy, a biologist a the University of Toronto in Scarborough. "Our understanding of the biodiversity of this region is not complete by any stretch of the imagination."

Read the complete story at msnbc.com.