O is for the oldest order of fish

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African Coelacanth

wicole

 

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Coelancanths are quite mysterious; they managed to go underground for 66 million years, and that is the kind of track record you have to respect. They were believed to be extinct until 1938, when one was caught by a fishing boat and discovered at a local market by a scientist. Ceolancanth meat actually exudes oil and tastes terrible, so they’re a disappointing catch for a fisherman, really.

They’re fairly large creatures, they get up to 6’5 in length and can be up to 175lbs. Physically, they are quite different than most fish – they are the last surviving members of lobed finned fish, and swim in a peculiar way, their fins move somewhat in the manner of a four-legged animal, and it’s believed that they are closely related to the first creatures to venture onto land.

Random facts:

*Coelacanths also tend to congregate in pods of a certain size, toward the middle of the deep ocean.

*When an older member of the pod dies, a younger fish swims up to join the pod. They also rest in caves, and are completely inaggressive with each other.

*They gestate internally/bear live young.

*Their diet is mostly opportunistic, and will eat pretty much anything that will fit into their dishinging jaw.

*Their brain cavity is 98.5% filled with fat.
I’m starting to feel trans-species right about now…

related fun: Lazurus taxon.

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