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Tuna Closely Related To Some Of The Strangest Deepsea Fish Global, September 17, 13

A team of scientists has discovered that tuna is closely related to some of the strangest fish in the sea. The study combined DNA analysis of over 5,000 modern fish species with fossil evidence to solve a mystery of which species was closest to tuna.

One of tuna’s closest relatives is a deep sea fish, the black swallower, which has an extendable stomach that gives it the ability to eat fish larger than itself. Manefishes, some with spiky fins are cousins to the tuna despite having different body shapes and lifestyles.
The team included Oxford University scientists and was led by Dr. Masaki Miya at the Chiba Natural History Museum in Japan. They suggest that the extended family of fish owe success to the extinction that marked the demise of dinosaurs and many other creatures.
Their journal, ‘PLOS ONE’ calls the extended tuna family tree, ‘Pelagia’. Miya said: “What was immediately clear from our result is that the extended family of tunas and mackerels is made up of fish that all look different from one another, with different ways of life, but which share one key trait: they all dwell in the open ocean.
“This had been suggested before, but we were unable to show that many additional groups of fishes inhabiting the open ocean-called the pelagic realm – were closely related to one another and to tunas.”
According to the team the new findings give a different way of thinking about past extinctions.