Coelacanths apparently evolved in their current form around 400 million years ago. They wereÂ thought to have gone extinct 65 million years ago, during the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction – that is, until 1938 when a fisherman in South Africa pulled one up in his nets. Â NotÂ surprisingly, they are often referred to as “living fossils.” Â Since their discovery off SouthÂ Africa,Â they have also been found in the waters off theÂ Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar. In 1999, coelacanths were also found in the waters of Indonesia off Sulawesi.
Now German scientists have foundÂ somethingÂ else quite remarkable about these rare fish.Â AfterÂ a twenty year study they have determined that coelacanthsÂ can live up to a hundred years and possibly even longer. Â ThisÂ would make the coelacanth not only one of the world’s oldest fish species, but possibly also the longest-lived. Â Thanks toÂ coelacanth savant andÂ prodigious polymath, Allan Janus for pointing out the article.