Subterranean Homesick Fish

In deep dark ponds you gently glide,

You made this cave your place to hide;

Blessed with neither scales nor sight,

You struggle blindly in the light.

 

The floods came down and flushed you out,

Like Incy Wincy up the spout;

Into a land of sun-drenched blight,

You struggle blindly in the light.

 

The birds they circle once, then dive

And snatch you as you squirm and strive;

No chance to put up any fight,

You struggle blindly in the light.

 

We map out your DNA code,

And trace the jaw you were bestowed;

Then say you are a brand new sight,

You struggle blindly in the light.

 

The rains dry up and you return,

The sun’s harsh rays no longer burn;

Back to a realm of constant night,

You struggle blindly in the light.

 

An image of the Eidinemacheilus proudlovei, alive, not preserved, with a standard length of 45 mm. This photo was taken in Iraqi Kurdistan, at the Ephemeral spring in Tabeen Gorge. The reference for this image: FREYHOF, JÖRG, YOUNIS SABIR ABDULLAH, KORSH ARARAT, HAMAD IBRAHIM, & MATTHIAS F. GEIGER. "Eidinemacheilus proudlovei, a new subterranean loach from Iraqi Kurdistan (Teleostei; Nemacheilidae)." Zootaxa [Online], 4173.3 (2016): 225–236. Web. 10 Nov. 2016. Copyright © 2016 Zootaxa
An image of the Eidinemacheilus proudlovei, alive, not preserved, with a standard length of 45 mm. This photo was taken in Iraqi Kurdistan, at the Ephemeral spring in Tabeen Gorge. The reference for this image: FREYHOF, JÖRG, YOUNIS SABIR ABDULLAH, KORSH ARARAT, HAMAD IBRAHIM, & MATTHIAS F. GEIGER. “Eidinemacheilus proudlovei, a new subterranean loach from Iraqi Kurdistan (Teleostei; Nemacheilidae).” Zootaxa [Online], 4173.3 (2016): 225–236. Web. 10 Nov. 2016. Copyright © 2016 Zootaxa

 

This is a Kyrielle, inspired by recent research which found a new species of fish following a flooding event in the northern Zagros mountains in Iraq in March 2016.

During these severe floods, a large number of blind and scale less fish were washed to the surface through a hole in the ground, coming from the water in an underground cave system. Many of these helpless creatures were eaten by birds, but some of them were taken by researchers and then analysed. The analysis (which included an breakdown of the fish’s DNA) revealed that this was an entirely new species of fish, which was given the name Eidinemacheilus proudlovei by the researchers, in honour of Graham Proudlove, a world expert on subterranean fishes, from Manchester Museum in the UK.

 

An audio version of the poem can be head here.

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