In nature, it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good. One species' catastrophic population decline is another species' chance to flourish. Global warming will undoubtedly have its winners as well as its losers. And a volcano eruption which kills hundreds of animals can prove a windfall for scientists.
Marine biologists believe they have found new species of fish after a volcanic eruption on the French island of Réunion killed hundreds of fish. The scientists discovered the fish floating belly-up in the ocean, killed by rising water temperatures after molten lava poured into the sea.
"It's crazy. We've never seen this with previous eruptions," scientist Alain Barrere, who worked with researchers from Réunion's aquarium to collect specimens of the dead fish, told the French news agency AFP.
The fish are now being studied by the Réunion aquarium in St-Gilles les Bains. Scientists believe some of the fish represent previously unknown species, likely deep water dwellers.
The Piton de la Fournaise volcano has been erupting since March 30. The volcano has spat lava 200 meters into the air, while lava flows into the sea have released spectacular clouds of steam. The volcano, which has erupted more than 150 times since the 17th century, has been active since an eruption in August last year. The current activity has been called the "eruption of the century" by experts.
Réunion, which has a population of around 800,000, is located in the Indian Ocean east of Madagascar. It is one of the 26 regions of France and is an integral part of the Republic.
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