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Japanese researchers have solved part of the mystery of where Japanese eels go to spawn, having discovered one spot in the Pacific Ocean, west of the Mariana Islands.

The discovery of tiny, transparent larvae in the Philippine Sea indicates that the eels migrate thousands of kilometers out into the ocean to spawn, before returning to the coasts of East Asia, according to a research team led by Katsumi Tsukamoto, a professor at the University of Tokyo’s Ocean Research Institute. Their find was published in an article Thursday in the British journal Nature.

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