Japanese researchers film rare baby fish 'fossil'

November 17, 2009
A handout photo taken by Japanese researchers of Aquamarine Fukushima aquarium in October shows a juvenile coelacanth. Japanese marine researchers have said they found and successfully filmed a young coelacanth -- a rare type of fish known as "a living fossil" -- in deep water off Indonesia.

Japanese marine researchers said Tuesday they had found and successfully filmed a young coelacanth -- a rare type of fish known as "a living fossil" -- in deep water off Indonesia.

The creature was found on October 6 at a depth of 161 metres (528 feet) in Manado Bay off Sulawesi Island, where the Indonesian coelacanth was first discovered, according to the researchers.

Video footage showed the 31.5 centimetre (12.6-inch) coelacanth, coloured blue with white spots, swimming slowly among rocks on the for about 20 minutes.

"As far as we know, it was the first ever video image of a living juvenile coelacanth, which is still shrouded in mystery," said Masamitsu Iwata, a researcher at Aquamarine Fukushima in Iwaki, northeast of Tokyo.

Scientists hope the discovery will shed light on the habitat and breeding habits of coelacanths.

The researchers used a remotely operated, self-propelled vehicle to film the coelacanth, which appeared to be newly born, Iwata said.

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 are fully formed at the time of birth.

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

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Victorian fish fossil fills ancient gap

Related Stories

Victorian fish fossil fills ancient gap

August 28, 2006

The oldest known fossil coelacanth has just been described by Macquarie University researchers in the international journal Biology Letters, in conjunction with colleagues in Victoria and Paris.

Coelacanth fossil sheds light on fin-to-limb evolution

August 1, 2007

A 400 million-year-old fossil of a coelacanth fin, the first finding of its kind, fills a shrinking evolutionary gap between fins and limbs. University of Chicago scientists describe the finding in a paper highlighted on ...

Primordial fish had rudimentary fingers

September 22, 2008

Tetrapods, the first four-legged land animals, are regarded as the first organisms that had fingers and toes. Now researchers at Uppsala University can show that this is wrong. Using medical x-rays, they found rudiments ...

Ancient mother spawns new insight on reptile reproduction

August 27, 2008

A 75-million-year-old fossil of a pregnant turtle and a nest of fossilized eggs that were discovered in the badlands of southeastern Alberta by scientists and staff from the University of Calgary and the Royal Tyrrell Museum ...

Recommended for you

New insights into plants' conquest of land

July 19, 2018

The Earth is filled with diverse and remarkable plant forms from the tallest redwoods that pierce forest canopies, to the smallest mosses that blanket the ground underfoot.

In a warming climate, Arctic geese are rushing north

July 19, 2018

As Arctic temperatures continue to rise, migratory barnacle geese have responded by speeding up their 3,000-kilometer migration in order to reach their destination more quickly with fewer stops along the way, according to ...


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

1 / 5 (3) Nov 18, 2009
Let's remember that coelacanths were *far removed from the line of evolution that led toward the early land vertebrates* - Colbert, et al, 2001, p. 82.
Benton's ('05) Box 3.6 documents the *controversial* situation regarding alleged sarcopterygian relationships. He addresses, *the problems concern the relationships of the lungfishes, coelacanths, and the diverse Devonian groups . . .* Seven cladograms (!) show *competing theories for the relationships of the sarcopterygian fishes & tetrapods* (p. 68). Yup - macroevolution is a fact.
(On a side light - Anyone want to document the alleged evolution of the pelvic girdle for me? There seems to be a total lack of fossil evidence documenting the appearance of a pectoral girdle from the tristichopterid fish to a basal tetrapod. Why am I supposed to believe it happened?)
5 / 5 (3) Nov 19, 2009
Let's remember that coelacanths were *far removed from the line of evolution that led toward the early land vertebrates*

No problem. Let us remember that it is lobe finned fishes and not specifically coelocanths that the most likely ancestor of terrestrial vertebrates. So whats your point in bringing up the obvious?
Yup - macroevolution is a fact
Yes it is. The rest of that was just evidence that we don't know everything. Again what is your point?
Anyone want to document the alleged evolution of the pelvic girdle for me?
Would it convince you of reality? You have made it quite clear that you are reality are mutually opposed.
Why am I supposed to believe it happened?
There are fossils before and after so there is likely to have been something between. The only reason to assume otherwise is religion.


5 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2009
Not only are the fossils from before the transition of fish to tetrapod there are quite a few DURING the transition period. Just a shortage of pelvic bones.

Here some things I did manage to find but I am not going to pretend that there is enough data to call anything conclusive. There is a lot of guess work that is the best that can be done without better evidence.

Still it is more evidence than you have. You don't have anything to support your beliefs except one book that was written long ago.

A basic Wiki but it has little to say about the evolution of the pelvic girdle.

Simple stuff for alleged geeks

Stronger stuff

Abstract for doctoral thesis. Written this year.
Link to the full thesis


5 / 5 (2) Nov 19, 2009
And a few fishy to tetrapod transitional species that have come to light very recently.

Unfortunately no pelvic bones in either. Still they ARE transitional even by the standards of Creationists. They just won't admit that they exist.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.