Workers lift a frozen coelacanth fish that is being transported to a museum. Coelacanths are the fossil fish that bridge the gap between fish and the mammals that left the sea to walk on land. Their fins become legs.
70 million years old, scientists previously considered the fish long extinct. In 1938, however, a fishing trawler brought up a live specimen. Since then more than 100 living coelacanths, remarkably unchanged since the Cretaceous period, have been caught off the coast of South Africa.
The coelacanth is classified as vulnerable by the World Conservation Union (also known as the IUCN), an international organization that maintains a global list of vulnerable and endangered species called the Red List. A vulnerable classification means that the species faces a high risk of extinction in the near future.
- RANDY OLSON
- Image Size
- 4735x3157 / 7.7MB
africa, anatomy, carcasses, cart, carts and wagons, coelacanth fish, coelacanth fish carcasses, color image, evolution and extinction, extinction, fins (anatomical), fish carcasses, frozen, indoors, laborers, men only, mutation, photography, shipping, tanga, tanzania, three people, transportation of goods, transporting, vehicles, wagons
- Contained in galleries
- Global Fish Crisis: Still Waters_National Geographic magazine, 04/2007