Site for the Philatelists who loves Aquatic Environment and collect the fascinating world of stamps, FDC, MS, Aero gram, Die Proof, Color Proof and lots of Philatelic collection on Prehistoric fish, Aquatic Organism, Mammals, Fish (Freshwater, brackish water & Marine water), Ornamental fish, Food Fish, Game Fish etc. released on various occasion around the globe
Until 1938, the coelacanth fish was thought extinct, but then fishermen off the coast of South Africa found a living coelacanth, and things were never quite the same again.
The coelacanth present a fascinating story of the ways in which our knowledge of the world is sometimes increased by happenstance. Until 1938, coelacanths were only known as an order of peculiar lobe-finned fishes which appeared in the fossil record about 350 million years ago, about the same time the first creatures emerged from sea to land and were extinct for approximately 70 million years.In December of 1938, fishermen off the eastern coast of South Africa caught a living fossil.
For years after this unique finding, scientists searched for another specimen of this extraordinary fish. Fourteen years later, the "true" home of the living coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae, was found in the Comoran archipelago in the western Indian Ocean. Since that time about 200 specimens of have been caught in the Comoros. A few other specimens have also been caught near Madagascar and Mozambique, but genetic analyses suggest that these are simply "strays" from the main Comoros population. The scientific community was shocked again in 1998 when UC Berkeley researchers announced the discovery of a coelacanth in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, almost 10,000 kilometers from the Comoros. On 27 November 2000 a group of divers found 3 coelacanths off the Northeast coast of South African in KwaZulu-Natal at Sodwana Bay, part of the St. Lucia Marine Protected Area, a world heritage site comprising a wetland and marine reserve known for its reefs and SCUBA diving. The largest was between 1.5 and 1.8 m long, the other two 1.2 m and 1 m. The group returned to Sodwana and dove successfully in 2001 observing 15 coelacanths, one pregnant. The Coelacanths were filmed and tissue samples were taken using a dart probe. Time line Living Fossil3,
The coelacanth is a primitive crossopterygian (lobe-finned) fish which first appeared in the fossil record about 360 million years ago. Up until 1938 the coelacanth was thought to have become extinct about eighty million years ago. In 1938 a coelacanth was caught by fishermen on the vessel Nerine trawling off the mouth of the Chalumna River in South Africa. The fish measured about 1.5 m (5 feet) in length and weighed 57 kg (126 lbs). Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, a curator at the East London Museum, could not identify the fish. She sent a sketch to J. L. B. Smith at Rhodes University in South Africa who identified the fish as a coelacanth. This modern species was given the scientific name Latimeria chalumnae.
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