Coelac’ – Coelacanths

Ancient lobe-finned fish, characterized by muscular buds within the fins

A group of ancient fish that have defied the odds of extinction and continue to capture the fascination of scientists and enthusiasts alike. Often referred to as “living fossils,” these deep-sea dwellers provide a remarkable glimpse into the evolutionary history of vertebrates. They represent an ancient lineage that dates back approximately 400 million years, making them contemporaries of some of the earliest land-dwelling vertebrates.

Once thought to be extinct for tens of millions of years, coelacanths burst into scientific prominence with the discovery of living specimens off the coast of South Africa in 1938. The revelation of their continued existence challenged prevailing assumptions about the evolutionary trajectory of certain fish groups.