Large 420-million-year-old fish species rediscovered in Indian Ocean

A humongous “fossil fish” with origins that may be traced again 420 million years has resurfaced within the West Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar.

The 6.5-feet, as much as 198-pound coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) was believed to have gone extinct no less than a century in the past. Nevertheless, a current examine revealed within the SA Journal of Science revealed that as of Might 2020 as many as 334 coelacanth captures had been documented. 


The coelacanth species, also referred to as the “four-legged fish” for its vigorous fins, roams in deep undersea canyons between 350 and 1,600 toes beneath the floor. 

Uncommon prehistoric fish, beforehand believed to be extinct, is taken into account to be the lacking hyperlink between fish and tetrapod.
(Hoberman Assortment/Common Pictures Group through Getty Pictures)

Based on the Smithsonian Ocean Portal, the fish have been first rediscovered in 1938 utilizing gill-nets.

The species was named for its discoverer, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, and reportedly described by Rhodes College’s Professor J.L.B. Smith in 1939.

It may weigh as much as 200 kilos, in response to the non-profit conservation and environmental science information platform Mongabay

In an interview, the examine’s lead writer stated he and his researchers have been shocked by the variety of coelacanths caught as by-catch in large-mesh gill-nets referred to as “jarifa.”

“After we seemed into this additional, we have been astounded [by the numbers caught] … although there was no proactive course of in Madagascar to watch or preserve,” RESOLVE sarl’s Andrew Cooke instructed Mongabay.

Whereas Latimeria chalumnae is assessed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, extra of the “four-legged” coelacanths have been caught round Tanzania, South Africa and the Comoros Islands.


The examine additionally introduced a case for conservation – though the species’ inhabitants dimension stays unknown – and famous the detrimental results of gill-net fishing within the shark-fin commerce.

“The jarifa gill-nets used to catch sharks are a comparatively new and extra lethal innovation as they’re massive and might be set in deep water,” researchers stated. “There may be little doubt that enormous mesh jarifa gill-nets at the moment are the most important risk to the survival of coelacanths in Madagascar.”

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