The Dawkinsia Singhala, one of the fish in the new genus.
Sri Lankan researchers have identified a new genus of fish and named it Dawkinsia, after scientists Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins visited Sri Lanka this year, speaking at the Galle Literary Festival. This freshwater fish is being branched off the existing Puntius species. I feel like I’ve eaten this fish but probably not.
Male Dawkinsia barbs advertise their fitness by growing long fin filaments that make them more attractive to females but also dangerously conspicuous to predators.
“The filaments are rather like the peacock’s tail, expensive ornaments that place their owner at greater risk while offering him the reward of being the preferred choice of females,” Pethiyagoda said. (Sri Lankans name new type of fish after Richard Dawkins)
Regarding the name, the research paper (PDF) say it’s a tribute to Dawkins work improving the public knowledge of science, especially evolutionary science. Lead researcher Rohan Petiyagoda also said:
“Richard Dawkins has through his writings helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined,” Pethiyagoda told AFP on Monday.
“We hope that Dawkinsia will serve as a reminder of the elegance and simplicity of evolution, the only rational explanation there is for the unimaginable diversity of life on Earth,” he said. (AFP)