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Fishing for new life

Strange life forms have evolved in the peat swamps of southeast Asia, harsh habitats that were once thought to be devoid of life.

Dr Eleanor Adamson, fish researcher at the Museum, introduces some discoveries from recent expeditions, including the world’s smallest fish.

Peat swamp inhabitants have evolved to survive in water that is at least 100 times more acidic than rainwater. These specialised species are not found anywhere else in the world.

Their unique habitats are threatened by logging, urbanisation and agriculture. Estimates suggest that over half of these habitats have already been destroyed, possibly taking many remarkable fish species with them.