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40.6 MB (3.5 MB compressed)
3775 x 3757 pixels
32.0 x 31.8 cm ⏐ 12.6 x 12.5 in (300dpi)
PETER SCOONES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER SCOONES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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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