Friday, 31 August 2012

Diving with a coelacanth

If I could have absolutely any fish I wanted in an aquarium, i think it would be a coelacanth, and bizarre lobe fin-finned fish found off Indonesia and southern Africa. The family was thought to have been extinct for 65 million years before one was discovered in a fisherman's catch in 1938.

Some divers from National Geographic were lucky enough to stumble upon a coelacanth off South Africa and get to swim with the "dinofish". You may want to mute the sound to avoid the annoying fake underwater conversation. Pay particular attention to the fins:


On a side note, I sometimes find creationists like to ask "If evolution is true, why are there still coelacanths?", apprently unaware that a) modern coelacanths are the same family, but not the same genus or species, as the 65 million year old fosssil specimens; and b) there's no reason why some creatures will not have long periods of evolutionary stasis if they have stumbled onto a consistently successful form. If it ain't broke (or being outcompeted in a niche), don't fix it.

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