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The Coelacanth: A Fish Caught in Time

The Coelacanth: A Fish Caught in Time

Last year I posted a mosaic of a fish thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs. Well, it turns out this fish is NOT extinct and two species have been discovered in the ocean depths.

Coelacanths (seel-a-canths) were once known only from fossils and were thought to have gone extinct approximately 65 million years ago.

Coelacanths are known primarily from the Comoros Islands, which are situated in the Western Indian Ocean between Madagascar and the east coast of Africa, but also live elsewhere along the east African coast and in Indonesian waters.

Coelacanths live in temperate waters in the "twilight zone," generally between 500-800 feet (152-243 m), off steep rocky slopes of volcanic islands. In the daytime the Comoran specimens are known to cluster together in "caves" in submarine lava deposits, from which they venture at night to feed. The two specimens observed from a submersible in Indonesia were in a deep carbonate cave at about 500 feet. The sightings off South Africa were at shallower depths, between 300-350 feet (91-106 m), beneath ledges and in shallow caves.

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It's lovely to hear that some still exist. I find it quite disheartening when a species goes extinct. There are so many animals on the planet getting less and less as they are being killed for 'so called' medicinal properties for some people. The seas are being over-fished too , such a shame. On the other side of the coin there are lots of people now trying to save the planet and the flora and fauna.

12 Dec, 2014


Yes I agree, wholeheartedly. It's great to hear that these fish still exist. It also shows that so much of this world is still unknown and undiscovered even by scientists.

12 Dec, 2014


Nice to know this fish is not extinct and has survived very interesting Bathgate ...

16 Dec, 2014


Fascinating ... thanks for the update, Paul.
Good to know this fish is not extinct.
Added to GoYpedia :o)

18 Dec, 2014

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