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What is a coelacanths?


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2010-10-20 15:25:28
2010-10-20 15:25:28

The coelacanth is a fish which was believed to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period. However, in 1938 a curator of a museum found a coelacanth in a catch of fish of a trawler off the coast of South Africa. Since then, they have been noted to appear in Comoros, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, and even in Indonesia. The fish is blue with silver markings and grows to over six and a half feet long. Its population is estimated to be at a number of around 500

The fish was discovered (found) by the crew of the trawler 'Nerine", not by the curator, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, of the East London Museum - she made sure it was saved for science! Coelacanths are also found in South Africa and Kenya and it is steel blue/grey with white to pale pink spots and blotches in patterns unique to the individual. The population is unknown - the estimate of 500 or less was guesswork following surveys in the Comoro Islands. It is quite clear that, although nowhere abundant, the coelacanth is widely distributes throughout the western Indian Ocean.

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Coelacanths have been found off the coast of southern Africa near Madagascar.

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Coelacanths eat whatever they find as they drift in the current. Because they can lift the upper jaw as well as move the lower jaw, coelacanths can open their mouths quite far to suck prey from crevices

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Not really. In 1995, results from a dive counted about 40 coelacanths. The number has changed since then, but coelacanths are still nowhere near abundant. South African fisherman who fish for oilfish sometimes catch a coelacanth by accident. Without the strength to swim hundreds of meters back to their habitat, they usually die. Some of them get sold to scientists. As far as we know, coelacanths are very rare. Prior to around 1940, we thought they were extinct. They are still in danger.

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The Coelacanth was born 300 million years ago ; The time of the dinosaurs! Coelacanths were due to extintion in year 1938, when the first coelacanths were caught. Luckly, they're still alive.

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Coelacanths eat whatever they find as they drift in the current. Because they can lift the upper jaw as well as move the lower jaw, coelacanths can open their mouths quite far to suck prey from crevices


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