East China Sea 101: Precious and rare invertebrate
Updated 16:20, 15-Sep-2021

A strange species inhabits the East China Sea: "Wenchang fish," which is not really a fish, but a precious and rare marine invertebrate.

The creature is called lancelet, an invertebrate with a notochord instead of a backbone. In China, it could be found in the sea near Hong Kong, Shandong Province and Xiamen City of southeast China's Fujian Province. As it carries the characteristics of both vertebrates and invertebrates, it serves as a model organism for studying evolution.

Lancelet used to be widely distributed in East China Sea. Due to excessive fishing and habitat loss, large amount of lancelets died in the past decades. To protect the species, Xiamen City established ecological reserves to protect the animal. It is also listed as second-class state protected animal in China.

Read more from the series:

Fujian: Where the tea meets the sea

East China Sea 101: A beautiful leopard with cloud-like fur

East China Sea 101: Vulnerable pink 'elves'

East China Sea 101: Xiamen City, the 'island of egrets'

East China Sea 101: The rare bird with special 'hairstyle' in Fujian

About East China Sea 101

CGTN's Tides of Change – Part II, a journey enchanted by a dynamic ocean, will lead you to the splendid East China Sea area, including Fujian and Zhejiang. The East China Sea 101 series aims to show you precious flora and fauna via livestreams.

(Cover image via VCG, designed by CGTN's Feng Yuan and Li Yueyun)

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