26 November 2009

Baby coelacanth photographed

It's good to see one photographed alive after all the situations where specimens had been dragged up from the bathysphere in nets only to die of barotrauma.

Japanese marine researchers have found and successfully filmed the young fish at a depth of 528ft in Manado Bay off Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.

Video footage shows the 12.6-inch coelacanth, coloured blue with white spots, swimming slowly among rocks on the seabed for about 20 minutes.

A similar-sized juvenile was once discovered in the belly of a pregnant coelacanth. It is believed that their eggs hatch inside the female and the young fish are fully formed at the time of birth.

Coelacanths are commonly regarded as having evolved little from prehistoric times and were thought to be extinct until a living specimen was discovered in 1938 off the coast of southern Africa.

Found at the Daily Mail. Here are links for the Association for the Preservation of the Coelacanth and for the African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme.

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