A Living Fossil - Conservation

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Rating: 4.5 out of 19 votes
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Imagine walking to school like normal and tripping over the tail of a stegosaurus as you make your way out your front door-- you'd probably be very surprised, to say the least! That must have been how scientists felt when they recovered the first documented specimen of coelacanth amongst the daily catch of local fishermen in South Africa!

Once thought to have gone extinct way back in the Cretaceous period along with the dinosaurs, the discovery that coelacanths were still surviving off coastal regions of Africa and Indonesia sent shock waves through the scientific community. Having changed very little since they first evolved, coelacanths are quite different from most other fish. They have thick scaly armour to protect themselves, and eight lobed fins that make them quite manoeuvrable in the water. Their unique bodies allow them to orient themselves in almost any direction under the water easily and comfortably-- coelacanths have been seen doing headstands and even floating upside down without any sign of distress!

Coelacanths aren't often caught on purpose by fishermen-- because they're so oily, eating these living fossils will actually make you very sick. However, they are accidentally caught by traditional fishermen and deep sea trawlers searching for other, more valuable types of fish. With such small populations, it's uncertain how long coelacanths can endure these threats, but people are taking action! In addition to having the coelacanth listed as endangered, governments are working to protect coastlines and regulate fishing to help ensure that the coelacanth, a species that has survived for 380 million years, may continue to thrive for many more millennias!

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Comments

  1. batisseurs
    batisseurs
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Cooooooooollllll!!!!!!??
  2. defender3611
    defender3611
    4 months, 1 week ago

    WOW!!!
    that is so amazing!!!
  3. Mae2803
    Mae2803
    8 months, 1 week ago

    bored.
  4. laurnieboo
    laurnieboo
    1 year, 1 month ago

    interesting
  5. aj2hip
    aj2hip
    1 year, 7 months ago

    wow a dinosaur fish
  6. Didi111
    Didi111
    1 year, 7 months ago

    Who knew that animals who are thought to be extinct aren't really extinct?
  7. doglover123
    doglover123
    1 year, 9 months ago

    that,s cool i like that fish!
  8. cherie
    cherie
    1 year, 11 months ago

    WOW not bad oh he is i men he was so close to be extint i don`t want that to hapin. I love all animals!!!I AM IN ANIMALS A+!!!
  9. kidzila
    kidzila
    2 years, 2 months ago

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL
  10. lacy1234
    lacy1234
    2 years, 4 months ago

    wow i wish you could help that guy insted of the spottedturtle. Well................ i wish i could help them both.


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Parents Choice Award
Approved 2012
Interactive Media Best in Class
Animals/Wildlife 2012 & For Non-Profit 2012
Digi Award
Best in Community Campaigns 2012