Old four legs, aka the Coelacanth

I have written about the Coelacanth before, here. This amazing fish lived with the dinosaurs and was thought to have been extinct for almost 100 million years, until one was caught in a fishing net in a city nearby where I used to live. My town has two of them on display

There is also one in the Natural History Museum in London. The sign next to it points out that the coelacanth has four ‘legs’ and thus forms part of the evolutionary chain that led to land-dwelling animals. The coelacanth has four fins, or lobes, sticking out of its body like legs. Even more fascinating, it moves those fins in an alternating fashion that resembles walking or trotting. Coelacanth are also pregnant for up to three years, and give birth to live young.

More of these fish have been discovered in various parts of the world. They live in deep waters and are not edible (well, not unless you want to get sick), but they are still endangered.

When living, these fish are bright blue and iridescent, as can be seen from these magnificent photographs, taken by Mike Frazer

And here are two videos, sourced at start, where you can see how this magnificent creatures move.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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