According to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, scientists analyzed more than 2,000 species of fish from two freshwater lakes in East Africa, as well as DNA analysis of more than 400 species of lickerel fish, such as rifamps belonging to the Lisse family, according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications. Among them, researchers found more than 40 new species in Lake Mveru. Hybrid offspring can feed on things their parents cannot eat, invade new habitats, and swim deeper into the water than their ancestors.
Lead study author Joana Meier said in a statement: “When Lake Mweru formed, it combined the lickerel lineage from the Congo and Zambezi Rivers. Then, the fish from these different water systems mate with each other. This may be because when the lake is formed, the water is cloudy and they can’t see the correct color, so females are less picky when choosing a mate in their new environment. Mating between fish in different water systems can easily produce offspring that combine the genetic characteristics of two parent species. “
Meier said it was unclear whether the new species would survive for long because they could compete with each other and die. However, studies conducted at Lake Mweru have shown that there are many ecological opportunities in a new environment, and that hybridization may be a good thing and actually increase biodiversity.