Coelacanth fish fin

Coelacanth fish fin

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Credit: PETER SCOONES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fin of dead coelacanth fish (Latimeria chalumnae). This fish uses its lobed fins to swim, moving them in the same way as a tetrapod walking on land. It does not use them to walk on the sea floor, however. The coelacanth flourished in the Mesozoic era, from 400-60 million years ago. It was thought to be extinct until one was caught off South Africa in 1938. It inhabits rocky coastal regions in the Indo-Pacific, at depths of around 150-700 metres. By day it shelters in a cave, emerging at night to hunt smaller fish and squid near the seabed. An adult coelacanth may reach a length of two metres. Photographed in the Comoros Islands.

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Keywords: ancient, animal, body, bony fish, carnivore, carnivorous, catch, caught, coast, coastal, coelacanth, comoros islands, dead, deep, fin, indian, indo-pacific, latimeria chalumnae, living fossil, lobed, locomotion, locomotory structure, marine, nature, old, pisces, predator, predatory, prehistoric, rare, wildlife, zoology

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