Waterfall Climbing Loach

Waterfall Climbing Loach

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Credit: Dante Fenolio/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Waterfall Climbing Loach, Cryptotora thamicola, is found only in several cave streams on the Thailand/Burma boarder. Many of the caves that this loach inhabits have high levels of CO2 gas, making them dangerous places for exploration. This fish is widely considered the most cave adapted fish on Earth owing to its lack of pigment, eyes and the modified fins for climbing out of the water on damp rocks. The Waterfall Climbing Loach eats bacterial mats that grow above the water line on rock faces around waterfalls or rapids. In foraging out of the water, much of the life of this fish is actually spent out of water. This species is listed by the IUCN as 'VU,' vulnerable. This individual photographed in the wild in Thailand, 2011.

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Keywords: animal, aquifer fauna, balitoridae, blind cave fish, bony fish, cave adaptation, cave biota, cave dwelling, cave loach, cryptotora, cryptotora thamicola, cypriniformes, fish, freshwater fish, groundwater inhabiting, hypogean, iucn vu vulnerable, river loach, stygobite, stygobitic, subterranean, thai endemic, thailand fauna, troglobite, troglobitic, troglomorphism, troglomorphy, vertebrate, waterfall cave fish, waterfall climbing loach

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