Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 23rd, 2012
Today, December 23rd, is a special one.
Latimeria chalumnae, 1938.
Museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer (above) discovered the coelacanth among the catch of a local fishing trawler owner, Captain Hendrick Goosen, on December 23, 1938. It had been caught off the southeastern coast of Africa, in the Indian Ocean.
Latimeria chalumnae was verified, having not been seen alive after allegedly being extinct for 65 million years. The coelacanth has been nicknamed a “living fossil,” because it was originally known only through fossils, long before the first discovery of a live specimen.
The species today, in adult form of 5.5 to 6.5 feet long, are much larger than the size of the fossils. Nevertheless, the coelacanth is thought to have evolved into roughly its current configuration approximately 402 million years ago.
Come see more about coelacanths at the International Cryptozoology Museum of Portland, Maine.
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Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.