The Coelacanth (SEE-lah-canth) was a relatively unassuming fish, its closest living relative being the lobe-finned fish. Fossils of the Coelacanth have been discovered ranging from 400 MYA to around 65 MYA, coinciding with the death of the dinosaurs. In 1938, however, when one was hauled in on a fishing net off the coast of South Africa, the temporal range of this animal was extended by 65 million years! Today, by studying the living Coelacanth, scientists have found that the fish gives birth to live young, unlike other fish. Further discoveries both in Africa (off the coasts of Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and Tanzania) as well as Asia, around Sulawesi, Indonesia, of living Coelacanth specimens have further widened the current geographical range of the Coelacanth.
|A specimen of the Cretaceous coelacanth Coccoderma nudum from Germany. On display at the Mace Brown Museum of Natural History on the campus of the College of Charleston in South Carolina.|