December 23, 2012

Happy Coelacanth Discovery Day!

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.

See also:

The Field Guide to Coelacanth Replicas


Top Ten Coelacanth Stories of 2011.”

Come see more about coelacanths at the International Cryptozoology Museum of Portland, Maine.

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What new surprises do the coelacanths have in store for us?

Latimeria menadoensis, 1998.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. 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. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Filed under Coelacanth, Cryptomundo Exclusive, CryptoZoo News, Living Fossils