Sunday, July 15, 2007

Zanzibar fishermen land ancient fish


In August 2004, a Coelacanth was caught in a net in relatively shallow water (70m deep) in the Tanga region of Tanzania.

Zanzibar fishermen land ancient fish

Sun Jul 15, 2007, 12:40 PM ET

ZANZIBAR (Reuters) - Fishermen in Zanzibar have caught a coelacanth, an ancient fish once thought to have become extinct when it disappeared from fossil records 80 million years ago, an official said on Sunday.
Researcher Nariman Jidawi of Zanzibar's Institute of Marine Science said the fish was caught off the tropical island's northern tip.
"The fishermen informed us they had caught this strange fish and we quickly rushed to find it was a coelacanth," he told Reuters, adding that it weighed 27 kg (60 lb) and was 1.34 meters long.
The coelacanth, known from fossil records dating back more than 360 million years, was believed to have become extinct some 80 million years ago until one was caught off the eastern coast of South Africa in 1938 -- a major zoological find.
None has since been caught in South African waters, but around 30 have been caught in recent years off Tanzania, possibly because diminishing shallow-water resources have forced fishermen to cast their nets in the deeper waters where coelacanths live, experts say.
Coelacanths are the only living animals to have a fully functional intercranial joint, a division separating the ear and brain from the nasal organs and eye.




New sighting of 'living fossil' intrigues scientists

September 23, 1998
Web posted at: 11:40 p.m. EDT (2340 GMT)
From Correspondent Don Knapp

SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- An ugly fish known as the "living fossil" has made another appearance in the ocean, surprising scientists.
A coelacanth has been found in Indonesia -- 7,000 miles (11,200 kilometers) from its only previously known location near Madagascar.
The ancestors of the coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-kanth) date back 400 million years. Until 1938, scientists knew the coelacanth only as a fossilized relic from the dinosaur era.
"So in 1938, it was almost a shock when one showed up, that you get this, what's called a living fossil basically, this fish that's known only from the fossil record and here it is, some 80 million years later, you get a live one," said Douglas Long of the California Academy of Science.

The second coelacanth known is exhibited in 1952
A fisherman pulled the first-known modern coelacanth from the waters near the Comoros Islands near Madagascar. South African biologist Marjorie Courtenay Latimer came across it in a fish market.
History repeated itself in the latest discovery. University of California-Berkeley biologist Mark Erdmann was in Indonesia on his honeymoon when he visited a fish market in Manada, Sulawesi, to look for manta shrimp, the animal he studies.
"His wife pointed out a large, ugly fish going by on a hand cart, which he looked at and immediately recognized as a coelacanth," said Roy Caldwell, a biologist at UC-Berkeley.
fin
The fleshy fins of the coelacanth earned it the nickname of 'fourlegs'
Caldwell said the coelacanths recently found in Indonesia apparently live in the same type of environment as those found in the Comoros, caves about 600 feet (18 meters) deep along the steep sides of underwater volcanoes.
One reason for the coelacanth's ancient popularity was its fleshy fins that reminded people of human limbs, Caldwell said. Those fins led to speculation that the fish were direct ancestors of land vertebrates.
The fish did not turn out to be the ancestor of humans, but did manage to outlive the dinosaurs.

4 comments:

Coelacanth Rob said...

"A fisherman pulled the first-known modern coelacanth from the waters near the Comoros Islands near Madagascar. South African biologist Marjorie Courtenay Latimer came across it in a fish market."

No, no, no! The first known modern coelacanth was caught by a commercial trawler off the south-east coast of South Africa in December 1938. The captain kept the fish for Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. The so-called 'second' coelacanth was caught by a subsistence fisherman off Domoni on the island of Anjouan in the Comoros in December 1952!

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Melinda said...

I'm astonished seeing that ancient fish it seems it took an overdose of Generic Viagra because look at its size is huge.

LeBron "The King" James 2306 said...

oh my! that fish have legs? dude that was a real living fossil, for this fish a lot of Generic Viagra in it body, let me explain you, according to some scientificts this sustance keep the body in a perfect state for a long time.