Prehistoric Fossil Fish Caught off Zanzibar

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Fishermen from Zanzibar have caught a Coelacanth, the ancient fish that has puzzled scientists for decades. The fish, weighing 27kg was caught off the northern tip of the island and was rushed to the institute of marine science.

Coelacanth by environmental graffiti, a UK based environmental blog.

The Coelacanth has a bizarre history. It was once one of the most successful families of fish, emerging around 360 million years ago. However, it was thought to be extinct, disappearing from the fossil records around 80 million years ago.

This was until 1938 when fishermen in East London, South Africa caught a strange fish, which they took to Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, curator of the museum in the town. She passed it on to her friend, Professor James Leonard Brierley Smith who identified it as the fish he had seen in fossils. Another specimen was not caught until the 1950s and in recent years several have been discovered off the coast of Tanzania as well as another species of Coelacanth in Indonesian waters.

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