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Why are different species of Christmas Island’s angelfish interbreeding?


They’re some of the most beautiful fish in the sea, but for some reason different species of angelfish on remote Christmas Island are interbreeding. ECU researcher Federico Vitelli is trying to find out why, and what the implications of that interbreeding are.
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Different species of Angelfish on remote Christmas Island are interbreeding and ECU's Federico Vitelli wants to know why.

They’re some of the most beautiful fish in the sea, but for some reason different species of angelfish on remote Christmas Island are interbreeding. ECU researcher Federico Vitelli is trying to find out why, and what the implications of that interbreeding are.

On the stunning coral reefs of Christmas Island, 2,600km northwest of Perth, in the Indian Ocean something strange is happening.

Three species of angelfish are interbreeding in a process known as hybridisation. The process could lead to the original species being lost or the emergence of a totally new species of angelfish.

School of Science PhD candidate Federico Vitelli is trying to find out exactly what will happen to the three species as part of his research.

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