‘Extinct’ Fish That Predates Dinosaurs Found Alive

A fish species thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs has been discovered alive in the Indian Ocean.

According to Mongabay, some shark hunters from South Africa discovered the rare coelacanth fish off the coast of Madagascar.

The fish, known as the “four-legged fossil fish,” is thought to date back 420 million years and lived in undersea canyons deep under the surface, according to Mongabay, a U.S.-based non-profit conservation, and environmental science news platform. They also shared that these fish can weigh up to 90 kilograms.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

While the species was thought to have gone extinct back with the dinosaurs, it was rediscovered back in 1938. Its discovery shocked the scientific community, and since then, more of these fish have been discovered.

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Reports of the critically endangered coelacanth fish being caught have been made off the coast of South Africa, the Comoros Islands, and Tanzania, and a unique species of that fish has been found in Indonesian waters, according to Mongabay.

Photo: flickr/Muséum de Toulouse

As of May 2020, there have been 334 reports of the species being discovered, according to a study published in the South African Journal of Science.

The study noted that the already critically endangered coelacanth species is in serious danger of going extinct due to the increase in shark hunting and the lack of conservation efforts.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

“There is little doubt that large mesh jarifa gill-nets are now the biggest threat to the survival of coelacanths in Madagascar,” they said in the study.

Hopefully new conservation efforts can be put into place to protect these vulnerable fish populations before they go extinct for good.

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