Chinese Living Fossil Discovered

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 24th, 2009

A living fossil called Rasbora steineri was first discovered in a river near Tiechang Village, Guangdong Province, China, by the Fishers Research Institute of Dongguan (FRID), as reported by a new Chinese Web site.

According to FRID’s director, Mr. Huang, the Rasbora steineri is an ancient fish, appearing in the Tertiary Period, between 23 and 65 million years ago.

“It was accidental for us to discover Rasbora steineri. When members of the Team of Fish Resource Survey were classifying and studying the fish they’d caught, they discovered that one little fish had the features of Rasbora steineri,” Huang said.

“We were not quite sure, however, as only one was caught. We specifically targeted them the second time out. We caught a dozen Rasbora steineri and found another population of the same species in the surrounding waters. We brought them back, carefully identified them, and at last confirmed that they are indeed Rasbora steineri,” he said.

Most of Rasbora steineri are small, up to 4 inches long. Their most prominent feature is a black line that runs the length of the body and an apparent curved line going to the bottom of the body. Because they are so small, they are often mistaken for other common small fish.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

6 Responses to “Chinese Living Fossil Discovered”

  1. JMonkey responds:

    Who would have thought it. This looks like something I could have bought at Wal-Mart for my fish tank. Great find for the Chinese and a great post for the site.

  2. cryptidsrus responds:

    I agree with JMonkey.

    Great find.

    I’m pretty certain there are more “living fossils” out there.
    And they will be discovered.
    It’s a great time to be a CryptoBuff. 🙂

  3. kentmcmanigal responds:

    Rasboras are a very common aquarium fish, just not that particular species, I’m supposing.

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    I admit it’s not Cadborosaurus…or a mososaur, or a regular ole sea serpent, but it will do…gives me more confidence that there are plenty of things out there undiscovered…well maybe not “undiscovered” but unrecognized by mainstream science.

  5. czenquirer responds:

    This seems little consolation for the apparent extinction of much larger and truly unique species such as the Chinese paddlefish and Yangtze river dolphin or baiji (last recorded for certain in 2003 and 2002 respectively).

  6. mjmurphy responds:

    Hmm. I wonder if the story author is trying to say that Rasbora steineri is a living fossil and it was rediscovered in this river (where it was not thought to exist previously).

    For instance here:

    …its listed as a fish you’re allowed to keep in Australia. Sounds like people have known about it for awhile.

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