Coelacanth Dons Rally Cap: multi-millenial extinction?

Global warming, cooling or both? Was there a water canopy?
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Coelacanth Dons Rally Cap: multi-millenial extinction?

Post#1 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:41 pm

Another blow to the evolution religion. Scientists still beat their chests over its age of 400 million years. They couldn't possibly be wrong again, could they? Then again, maybe it's not really that old and was created just as it says in the first chapter of Genesis.



Thursday, March 25, 1999 Published at 01:38 GMT


New 'living fossil' identified
The coelacanth first appeared over 400 million years ago

What a beast! This is a new species of coelacanth discovered off the coast of Indonesia.

The find has surprised and delighted scientists who had believed such creatures were restricted to a small stretch of water around the Comoros, east of South Africa. Now it would appear there are two distinct communities living 9,000 km apart.


The first living coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) was discovered in 1938 when marine biologists hailed the fish as a "living fossil" - an animal that has existed virtually unchanged since it first appeared over 400 million years ago.

Since the 1930s, fishermen have pulled in about 200 other coelacanths. The catches have been so few and in such a restricted area that scientists assumed they were dealing with a small an isolated population living only in the Mozambique Strait, or even around just one or two of the Comoros islands (Grand Comoros and Anjouan).

New thinking

But the chance discovery of a fish last year near Menadotua Island in the Celebes archipelago of Indonesia has forced a rethink of the creature's evolutionary history. Detailed analysis of its body features and two stretches of its DNA has now revealed the fish is a new - though closely-related - species of coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis).

The research, published in the Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences, indicate that the two species went their separate ways about 1.5 million years ago.

Latimeria menadoensis: The fish takes its name from the island near where it was found

This is not that long ago, given the coelacanths' long history which began in the Devonian Period, a time when fish were probably the only vertebrates in existence.

The Indoensian coelacanth was taken from an area which has seen recent volcanic activity. It is an environment that is similar to the habitat of the Comorean species. It seems these fish like the crevices that form when lava flows into the sea. They are ideal hiding places.

Semi-sedentary fish

Although studies have shown the coelacanth can move several dozens of kilometres to get from one cave to another, it is a semi-sedentary fish and does not like to go to great depths or into open water.

Coelacanths seem to like hiding in rocky crevices

It is highly unlikely that the species from the Comoros could have travelled nearly 10,000 km, negotiating difficult currents, to reach Indonesian coasts, and vice versa.

This is one more reason why the animals must be two distinct species, the scientists conclude.

The research on the new fish was conducted by a joint team from the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, formerly ORSTOM), LIPI (Division of Zoology Research and Development Centre for Biology, Indonesia) and CRIFI-RIFF (Central Research Institute for Fisheries, Indonesia).

Posts: 437

wait til they find a live one of these

Post#2 » Sat Jun 23, 2007 3:45 pm

Wonder what the science priests will say if they find a living version of this critter.



Monday, 30 December, 2002, 12:12 GMT
Giant sea fossil unearthed
A complete skeleton of the biggest marine reptile that ever existed has been unearthed in Mexico.

The fossilised bones have been identified as those of Liopleurodon ferox, a fierce predator that ruled the oceans about 150 million years ago.

Type of animal: Plesiosaur (pliosaur)
Food: Carnivore: snacked on smaller swimming reptiles
Size: Up to 25 metres
Weight: Up to 150 tonnes
The creature, which measures 20 metres (65 ft) from nose to tail, was discovered by German and Mexican palaeontologists.

It has been nicknamed the "Monster of Aramberri" after the site in northeastern Mexico where it was dug up.

Although many Liopleurodon remains have been unearthed before, none have been as complete as the Mexico discovery.

The bones are to be shipped to Germany for reconstruction at the Natural History Museum in Karlsruhe.

Scientists plan to use the skeleton to study how the monster of the deep lived and what it ate for its last meal.

Its remains were found along with those of smaller aquatic reptiles known as ichthyosaurs, which it may have snacked on.

Sea monster

The Liopleurodon was the master of the deep in prehistoric times.

The predator, the largest type of plesiosaur, was featured in the BBC Television series, Walking with Dinosaurs.

It had an impressive array of machete-sized teeth and jaws powerful enough to chew through granite.

Plesiosaurs appeared in the Early Jurassic period and rapidly split into two major groups: long-necked forms like the Cryptoclidus and short-necked forms, or plesiosaurs, like the Liopleurodon.

The marine reptiles are cousins of the dinosaurs that roamed the Earth between 208 million and 65 million years ago.

Their remains are relatively common and have been well preserved in several marine deposits throughout the world.

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