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The Closest Thing to STAR WARS’ Greedo is Now a Catfish

The Closest Thing to STAR WARS’ Greedo is Now a Catfish

A catfish definitely couldn’t shoot first.

In a paper published in the open access journal ZooKeys in early February, Jonathan W. Armbruster, David C. Werneke, and Milton Tan from Auburn University describe a new species of suckermouth armored catfish. There are 800 different species of these suckers, and one of the latest editions to the family Loricariidae has a face that is just begging for a blaster bolt:

GreedoFish_LargeThree different views of Peckoltia greedoi. Credit: J. W. Armbruster. Click to enlarge!

Meet Peckoltia greedoi. It’s named after the Star Wars bounty hunter Greedo of Rodia who met a messy end in a Mos Eisley cantina. The fish was found swimming in the rio Gurupi drainage of Brazil. But what inspired the name? Probably the large, dark eyes, sucker mouth, and whiskers that could be those goofy ears.

Peckoltia greedoi and the two other catfish described in the paper are actually a bit of a problem for scientists trying to fit species of the fish into the right categories. In 2008, the Peckoltia genus was generalized so that all its members would have lower jaws that connected to the head at an angle of less than 90 degrees. But all three newly described catfish fit the Peckoltia bill except for the fact that their lower jaws — or dentaries — connect at angles greater than 90 degrees, sometimes even 120 degrees.

While scientists are sorting out how to sort these armored bottom feeders, maybe we can try to get a CG Peckoltia greedoi in the next Star Wars trilogy remaster.

IMAGE: Jonathan W. Armbruster, David C. Werneke, Milton Tan

HT: Tony Gamble

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