Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ancient Mosaics Reveal Changing Fish Size

The dusky grouper, one of the major predators in the Mediterranean sea, used to be so large in antiquity that it was portrayed as a "sea monster," a new study into ancient depictions of the endangered fish has revealed.

"Amazingly, ancient mosaic art has provided important information to reconstruct this fish's historical baseline," Paolo Guidetti of the University of Salento in Italy, told Discovery News.

Considered one of the most flavorful species among the Mediterranean fish, the dusky grouper (Epinephelus marginatus) is a large, long-lived, slow-growing, protogynous hermaphrodite fish (with sex reversal from female to male). It can be found mainly in the Mediterranean, the African west coast and the coast of Brazil.

More at Discovery

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