It’s been more than 20 years since one of the most destructive invasive species in history was released off the coast of Florida. Originally from the Indian and Pacific Oceans, predatory lionfish have invaded the western Atlantic Ocean, spreading from the American east coast through the Caribbean to southern Brazil, devastating coastal ecosystems with their voracious appetites. Now, new research has revealed that invasive lionfish are not quite what they seem.
“Marine invasions … are a scourge,” says Brian Bowen, a geneticist at the University of Hawai‘i. “But this is an invasion of what could be a superfish.”
But a new study, recently published in the Journal of Heredity, flips the whole situation on its head.
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