Image copyright Reemaid Othman Image caption Reemaid Othman and Norlan Berkere found the female goldfish in a freshwater stream
Scientists have found a rare fish that almost broke their scale in a dead goldfish in the Arabian Sea.
The fish had been trapped beneath the loose scales of its owner’s dead goldfish in April.
Fish biologist Reemaid Othman from Britain’s Bristol University and Norwegian scientist Norlan Berkere were working in the Punta Los Laif lake, Morocco.
They freed the fish through freezing water using a rather unusual technique.
Their most recent research, to be published in the journal Anatomy, was the first to attempt to free the trapped fish.
Their discovery of a number of trapped and eventually freed fish was recorded in the lake for the first time.
The goldfish owner – whose fish fell into the deeper water – left behind some goldfish on the shore where the pond is accessible to the public.
The pair tried different techniques to free the fish, but found a dead goldfish was almost impossible to get out.
“We lifted the bottom of the pond and we tried putting a scale down. It was too shallow, so we had to try a number of other methods,” said Reemaid Othman.
Using a snake force microscope with powerful suction cups, they used techniques such as lifting the fish from the bottom and knocking it over with a shovel to try to shift the goldfish out of the lake.
Two of the fish they tried to rescue did not survive, but two were able to swim away.
The researchers then found the female goldfish, dead, and carefully lowered it in to the water.
The shocked fish had enormous scales all over it.
“The one we pulled out was nearly broken,” said Reemaid Othman.
Norlan Berkere added: “We made sure the fish was dead and its scales were lying on the bottom. We also measured its scales and realised they were some of the largest scales we had ever seen.”
You can see a video of the fish trapped in the pond below. The snake force microscope sequence is about 2min 58secs long.