A newly identified killifish species from the iconic Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, has been named after Sir David Attenborough in recognition of his dedicated efforts to promote biophilia – an awareness of the wonders and beauty of nature.
In contrast to the charismatic wildebeest and their spectacular annual migration, the brightly coloured Nothobranchius attenboroughi is barely five centimetres long and known to live fast and die young. The species is endemic to northern Tanzania and integral to the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
That is why five scientists and fish enthusiasts from Canada, France and South Africa decided to name this highly vulnerable species after the doyen of biodiversity conservation.
“We wanted to honour Sir Attenborough for raising awareness of the wonders and beauty of nature to so many people worldwide, promoting the importance of biodiversity conservation, and above all, inspiring so many young persons and researchers in the field of natural history, including ourselves.”
Together this eclectic group of scientists have been working on fish species endemic to East Africa since the 1990s.
Sir David Attenborough has always emphasized that an ecosystem consists of many species including even the smallest and this is also one of the reasons the authors have named the species in his honour.