Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Is the coelacanth really a 'living fossil' ?


Posted on Friday, 12 February, 2021 | Comment icon 6 comments

Coelacanths have been around for a long, long time. Image Credit: Citron / CC-BY-SA-3.0
New evidence has cast doubt on the idea that the coelacanth hasn't changed at all in millions of years.
Large, elusive and found deep in the oceans where they had until relatively recently remained hidden away from human civilization, the coelacanth was first discovered in 1938 at a time when fossil evidence seemed to suggest that it had been extinct for 66 million years.

Its remarkable similarity to fossil specimens from that era led scientists to declare it a 'living fossil' - a moniker given to creatures that have remained practically unchanged since prehistoric times.
Now however, a new study published in Molecular Biology and Evolution has called into doubt the whole idea of the 'living fossil' by revealing that, contrary to popular belief, at least one species of coelacanth has acquired dozens of genes over the last few million years.

The suggestion that the coelacanth is unchanged from its prehistoric forebears, therefore, is incorrect.

"Previous research has found that while coelacanth genes have evolved slowly compared to other fish, reptiles, and mammals, its genome as a whole has not evolved abnormally slowly and is hardly inert," said study author Isaac Yellan.

"I think that as more and more genomes are being published, the 'living fossil' concept is becoming increasingly something of a misconception, and I think many scientists would probably hesitate to assign it to any species."

Source: IFL Science | Comments (6)


Tags: Coelacanth


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Tom1200 on 12 February, 2021, 20:28
I always knew there was something fishy about that "living fossil" claim.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Stiff on 12 February, 2021, 21:20
Me too, but I couldn't quite plaice it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Twin on 13 February, 2021, 0:56
I didn't know that there is ancient DNA to compare to the current.
Comment icon #4 Posted by psyche101 on 13 February, 2021, 1:09
Hasn't this been known for a long time?á I remember posting differences in the fins skeletal structure here years ago.á
Comment icon #5 Posted by smanthaonvaca on 13 February, 2021, 3:46
Coelacanths are such awesome creatures... Sort of reminds me of this video. I think I saw something on the tv about a neighborhood that had gotten flooded with catfish walking their streets. A bit unrelated, but... á á
Comment icon #6 Posted by ted hughes on 16 February, 2021, 8:41
10 fun facts about the coelacanth:áThe Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the Coelacanth | WIRED


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
New US Navy UFO footage reportedly leaked
5-18-2021
A previously unseen video of an unidentified object filmed by the US Navy has recently emerged online.
Why do we hate the sound of our own voices ?
5-17-2021
Your voice can sound very different (to you) when recorded and played back, but exactly why is that ?
Giant squid filmed hunting in very rare video
5-17-2021
For the first time, scientists have filmed a giant squid feeding in its natural habitat in the depths of the ocean.
Liquid water discovered inside a meteorite
5-16-2021
For the first time, scientists have found liquid water inside a meteorite from the earliest days of the solar system.
Stories & Experiences
Mystery 'troll' captured on camera
4-24-2021 | Marsta, Sweden
 
My Grandfather's NDE
4-24-2021 | Oakland, California
 
The voice of something not human
11-17-2020 | Baldwin Hills, Los Angeles
 
Shadow figure demon ?
11-14-2020 | USA
 
Ghost following me
9-18-2020 | Iowa
 
Mysterious glowing cube
8-23-2020 | Alabama
 
Black blob in my room/bed
7-23-2020 | Powell,TN U.S.
 
Transparent levitating ball
7-14-2020 | Santa Rosa, California
 
 
 

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
NASA studies underwater 'white smoker' vents
Posted 4-17-2020 | 3 comments
Hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor can teach us about possible habitats on other worlds.
 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
 
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
 
 View: More videos
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2021
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ