A white marlin (top) and roundscale spearfish (bottom) showing their very similar appearance. (Credit: John Foster)
"It's remarkable how a simple case of mistaken identity can muddy what we thought we knew about a species from decades of study. This case points to the importance of making sure we know what species are out there in the first place," said Mahmood Shivji, Director of the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Nova Southeastern University, who co-led the study. "Furthermore, it's important to realize that we are also dealing with the existence of another large oceanic species, the roundscale spearfish, about which we know almost nothing and whose populations may be declining, steady or even on the rise"