Scientists ID fish 40 years after it was caught

Duckbilled fish
The duckbilled clingfish has a broad snout like a duck’s bill. (Kevin Conway and Glenn Moore)

After spending 40 years sitting in a museum jar, a toothy fish from the waters off Australia has been identified as a previously unknown species dubbed the duckbilled clingfish.

To document the species’ characteristics, researchers turned to technologies that weren’t widely available when the fish was caught in 1977: digitized X-ray scans and 3-D printing.

The fish tale was laid out last week in the journal Copeia.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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