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When I first heard of this fish it was referenced to as Sealicanth. I typed that in to learn more about it but obviously coelacanth came up. I soon realized they were the same thing but the name Sealicanth is never mentioned at all. Should it be added? 23:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

I'm a greek and its Κοιλάκανθος (Coelacanthos), meaning hollow spine or belly spine, not Sealacanthos (Greeklish for sea spine). Alternatively for "Sealacanth" more appropriate would be "Thallassacanthus/Thallattacanthus" or "Pelagacanthus" for Greek or "Marinacanthus" for a mixed latin-greek classical compound.-- (talk) 14:52, 10 June 2008 (UTC)
'Sealicanth' is an approximate phonetic spelling of Coelacanth, in which the 'oe' is 'œ'. i.e. 'cœl' sounds like 'seel' rather than 'co-ell' (at least in english). (talk) 04:12, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Sealocanth is incorrect spelling. It's coelacanth(us) (cause it comes from Latin Cœlacanthus which came from Greek Κοιλάκανθος. Notice the "k"?). And coelacanth should really be read as "koelacanth" not "seelocanth". "Coe" is naturally pronounced "co", right? So why isn't "coel" pronounced as "koel" or col"? It makes no sense, and to add to this, "coel" being pronounced "koal" follows English phonetic pronunciations perfectly fine. They should have respelled it as "cohlacanthus" or "koilacanthos" to prevent different pronounciation.
So, I suggest anyone who notices this irregularity to follow the natural pronunciation, which is "(k)oelacanth". - M0rphzone (talk) 21:49, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The correct pronunciation of Julius Ceaser is YOO-lee-oos KAI-ser. But nobody says it that way in English. Similarly, dinosaurs like coelurosaurs (usually pronounced see-lure-o-saurs rather than koi-lure-oos-aurs). Pronunciations evolve and language is about communication, not what's most correct in terms of etymology. MMartyniuk (talk) 15:02, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Yup, which is why English spelling is kinda hard and also obsolete cause of all the sound changes. - M0rphzone (talk) 21:22, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

(Sp.: Menado or Manado?)[edit]

A Google search turns up a lot more "Manado Tua" (1210) than "Menado Tua" (58).

I'm Indonesian, and it's 'Manado'


I'd like to see more information on the phisical and evolutionary features of the coelacanth. -- 14:41, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

http: slash slash slash evolution06.html For Children —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 21:00, 9 January 2007 (UTC).
Caution: it appears that creationists don't want their children to know about lungfish and mudskippers. Shhhh...... dave souza, talk 22:04, 9 January 2007 (UTC) belongs to a man in Pakistan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 14 May 2010 (UTC)


"They are believed to be the ancestors of many modern day amphibians due to the lobed fins and location of the fish." - Is this really true? And are these fish really pregnant? Burschik 15:56, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

No, this isn't true. They're RELATIVES of the ancestors of all tetrapods and of the concestor with lobefinned fish. The distinction should be obvious to any student of evolution and/or genetics. I recommend The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins which deals with the subject. ThomasWinwood 19:02, Apr 8, 2005 (UTC)

Marjorie knew[edit]

From the accounts I've read and interviews with her on TV, Marjorie knew _exactly_ what she had seen in the fish market and didn't need Smith to identify the fish in any way. However, being a female scientist at the time, it required the "confirmation" of a respected male biologist before the rest of the community sat up and noticed.

Her lack of academic credentials was more significant than her gender.p (talk)

Conservation status[edit]

An anonymous user has changed the conservation status to "Critical". The article doesn't seem to suggest that this is true, and no source is given. I've reverted it for now, but can anyone confirm either way? Agentsoo 10:57, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

Cites lists it as endangered, I'm not entirely sure whether it should be "critical" by Wiki terms, so just put endangered. See Vicki Rosenzweig 21:39, 24 August 2005 (UTC)


Where did the photo come from? I was under the impression these things could not be kept in captivity alive for long and that there weren't any at aquariums; who took this photo? --csloat 09:28, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

There are a couple pickled ones on display in museums, photo looks like one of those (they are supposed to be blue in life, not gray). Stan 11:59, 25 August 2005 (UTC)


During some related research I have found the following reference:

“The coelacanth is the only surviving member of the ancient group of fishes from which modern four-footed land animals are thought to have evolved” Maton, Anthea, Jean Hopkins, Susan Johnson, David LaHart, Maryanna Quon Warner, and Jill D. Wright (1997), Exploring Life Science (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall), second edition, p. 105


“The phylogenetic analyses of two RAG proteins presented here were based on the biggest nuclear sequence data set collected so far on the tetrapod origin question. These data strongly support the hypothesis that the lungfishes and not the coelacanth are the closest relatives of the land vertebrates. This result emphasizes the importance of study of all aspects of the biology and genomics of extinct and extant lungfish; our closest ‘fish’ relatives” Brinkmann, Henner, Byrappa Venkatesh, Sydney Brenner, and Axel Meyer (2004), “Nuclear Protein-Coding Genes Support Lungfish and not the Coelacanth as the Closest Living Relatives of Land Vertebrates,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 101[14]:4900-4905, April 6.

all thoughts/comments appreciated

I think there should be something in the article about this, either way - at present the only mention is the (creatonist) guy who found one... sheridan 23:00, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

article in the guardian[edit]

Someone should take a squiz at this article from the guardian about new fears of the Coelacanth's extinction. The bellman 23:49, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

meaning "hollow spine" in Greek[edit]

This is erroneous, it means thorny abdomen, i have corrected this.

 Weren't coelacanths named after Marjorie Courteney-Latimer? So it seems a bit pointless to have to meaning on the page.


It is worth noting that the Sulawesi coelacanth is a different species. I have to check my source. Bibliomaniac15 21:01, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Just to add some info: the species found in Sulawesi have thrived about (if I am correct. I don't remember the details and it is 4 AM right now) 3-8 million years longer than the other species and is distinctly bigger in size.

Already known[edit]

Weren't the natives aware of this fish...and didn't they call it a gombassa? Meaning a useless or mistake or inedible fish.

Seperate Article?[edit]

Much of this article seems to deal specifically with the modern species of coelocanth (the biology, discovery, etc). I've tried to modify it to reflect that coelocanths constitute an entire order of fish, not just the one that happens to still be alive, but maybe it would be better if the info on Latimeria was branched off into an article like Modern coelocanth or something?Dinoguy2 20:49, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Our rule is typically to give precedence to modern forms and let the fossils shift for themselves, as in ginkgo for instance. But the article seems a bit awkward in shifting back and forth. Since common usage is invariably to say "coelacanth" even when only Latimeria is meant, I think we're stuck with putting the bulk of modern species info here. What I'd like to see now is a more careful split of the article into modern vs fossil, but within the same article. Then if the two parts seem sufficiently decoupled, and the article is getting long, put general/fossil info into what are now redirs, such as Coelacanthiformes. Stan 21:33, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Biological characteristics[edit]

80 kg average? So the 25 kg Indonesian example is way below average?

Quite right, 80 kg is very large. The largest I'm aware of was a female of 98 kg (216 lb), measuring 179 cm (5 ft 10½ in) long, caught in Mozambique 1991. This article mentiones the specimen under "reproduction". The longest measured specimen was 186 cm (6 ft 1¼ in), i believe. Anshelm '77

WHAT??? I'm confused. How come there's this thing about Indonesian species weighs only about 25 kg? It's 120! At least the latest founding of coelacanth in June 2006 at Sulawesi weighs something like that.

Taxonomy for the possible South African species[edit]

This article suggests that the fish found near South Africa are a separate species than in the Comoros, with scientific names of Latimeria sp., and L. chalumnae given respectively. However, I doubt this would be the case, if the South African population would be given full species status. Note that the first specimen was found on the coasts of South Africa, meaning that the name Latimeria chalumnae would really belong to the South African type. And this article gives a hint for a scientific name for the Comoros type, as it was initially described as Malania anjounae, so placing it in the same genus with the two other species would make it Latimeria anjounae. Anshelm '77

Poss new image[edit]

Coelacanth specimen, Natural History Museum.

Is this any good for the article? (taken at Natural History Museum, London) - Ballista 05:28, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

The picture in the article of the one at Oxford, I feel, is the best. It does justice to the size of the creature, it's vibrant colour and you can make out a lot of detail. --AmyRoxYourSox 15:27, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I've seen the Natural History Museum specimen. Its pickled in formaldehyde and its in a pretty bad shape (no eyes, skin and scales peeling). --Eqdoktor 10:31, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Keeping a Coelacanth in Captivity[edit]

I'm under the impression that bringing a coelacanth to the surface and keeping it alive faces the complication that the coelacanth has obviously adapted to the pressure and is unable to survive under the surface pressure. I'm sure light factors and the stress of being bought to the surface also contributes to the problem. I don't pretend to be a coelacanth expert, but surely a specialy adapted pressurised cell would solve these problems. What is preventing experts from doing this? Is it lack of funding? --AmyRoxYourSox 13:28, 11 July 2006 (UTC)


The name Coelacanth does indeed mean 'hollow spine'. The Ancient Greek derivation can mean either 'thorn' or 'spine' (and thence the 'backbone' of an animal) (Liddell & Scott's Greek-English Lexicon). I have therefore reverted, as well as doing some incidental tidy-editing. - Ballista 18:16, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Derivation update[edit]

The etymology is correct in terms of the meaning, but I've just corrected the interpretation, since according to Forey's excellent book (ref 1 in this article), when Agassiz described the first fossil coelacanth, what he noted was that the fin rays of the tail were hollow, and that is what the name alludes to. Argentine Biologist, 30 May 2011


I'm a young student from the U.S. and am reading the book entitled "Mysterious Monsters and Great Sea creatures". Can anyone tell me if these fish are poisonous or deadly?

Not. Apparently edible, since the first findings of both populations turned up in fish markets. --Wetman 02:57, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

But if the Coelacanths are endangered, why would they put them in fish markets? Wouldn't it make them more endangered?W00tPerson 15:53, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

They were being seld in fish markets in third-world African countries who obviously were misinformed about everything concerning the fish's population. 23:48, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Or more likely just didn't realise they were endangered...not misinformed...they were thought extinct 21:51, 3 December 2007 (UTC)ClimberDave 21:52, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

They are edible, just a laxative oil in the spine makes it...unpleasant. Sometimes it's consumed dry, but it's not a big delicacy. bibliomaniac15 22:02, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Past tense v. Present tense[edit]

Since the Coelacanth is still alive, I'm assuming that the entire article should be in the present tense. The following sentences are in the past tense:

Toothlike spines called denticles covered the upper half of each scale, making it rough and scratchy. The smooth lower half of each scale was protected by the denticles of the two scales that overlapped it. These rough, layered scales provided amrmorlike protection against predators and the rough edges of rocks.

The only possible reason I could imagine for putting part of the article in the past tense is if these features of Coelacanths have changed over the millennia so that these statements would no longer be true of present-day Coelacanths. I do not believe this is the case for the features in this paragraph, so I will change them to be in the present tense like the rest of the article.

If there are in fact parts of the article which should be in the past tense, discuss it here and change them. Otherwise fix everything to be in the present tense like I am doing. -- Skyfaller 22:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Location or depth[edit]

In 1988, National Geographic photographer Hans Fricke was the first to photograph the species in its natural habitat, 180 m (590 ft 7 in) off Grand Comore's west coast.

Is that "180 m off the coast", or "off the coast, at a depth of 180 m?" Michael Z. 2007-01-22 02:02 Z

This (scroll down to 1986/1987 in the chronology) seems to associate the target of those dives at a 180m depth. Will keep trying to dig up something more clear. Kuru talk 03:30, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


I heard the coelacanth's spine is made of a tube filled with a liquide. Is this true and what type of liquide is it called? Did the scientists make a name for it yet?

Yes, it does contain a liquid in this spine. I'm not sure if scientists have given it a name, but it's what gives coelacanths their laxative properties. bibliomaniac15 22:42, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks alot. I can really use it for my project W00tPerson 22:42, 22 March 2007 (UTC)


How much force can a coelacanth push in pounds?W00tPerson 22:40, 21 March 2007 (UTC)


A lot of information in the article seems to be specific to the modern coelocanth species, and doesn't necissarily apply to the dozens of extinct coelocanths. I created the article Latimeria to refer specifically to the living types. Ideally, this page should probably discuss the group as a whole, with the info on modern forms split off into Latimeria (or Modern Coelocanth). Any thoughts? Dinoguy2 05:03, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

For 99.99% of our audience, the modern species is what is of primary interest, we should be careful not to lose sight of that. I think the right split for this article is about 50-50 modern vs extinct, with Latimeria as a good home for expanded/extended technical points about the living genus. For instance, behavioral bits, conservation efforts, etc, should be summarized here and more extensive there. The initial discovery deserves 1-2 paragraphs here, but later discoveries need only a sentence, with the details under Latimeria. Stan 15:25, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
As a split, I don't think this is workable as it is now. The Latimeria page is a near carbon copy of the Coelacanth page down to the typo errors. One or the other page needs a rewrite to remove the egregious redundancies. Latimeria = just modern living Coelocanth, Coelacanth = overall view of order. People are updating Latimeria sightings/captures on the Coelacanth page. As has been pointed out, when people think of the modern fish, its Coelacanth not Latimeria. Perhaps a merge back until a serious and complete rewrite of the either of the 2 articles is done? --Eqdoktor 09:45, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
Merge done. --Eqdoktor 09:40, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

"Coelacanths have modified cosmoid scales, which are thinner than true cosmoid scales, which can only be found on extinct fish." Is this reffering to Latimeria or coelacanths as a clade?

Wikipedia is so unreliable. Coelacanth is the same fish as its ancestors yet the article says it has changed and then doesn't even give any information about Latimera. They are trying to make it sound like it doesn't even remotely resemble the fish, and its all an outright lie. That needs to be changed.

Technically (and obviously) coelacanth isn't english for Coelacanthus? Since the whole group of actinistia is sometimes named after the Coelacanthus genus should not that be mentioned? I think there should be more links or even a merge with Coelacanthus as a genus since Latimeria is also merged. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I stand by Dinoguy 100%. The Latimeria and coelocanths-as-an-order info should be split. My personal preference would be to have the Coelocanth article be about the order with a tag at the top saying something to the effect of "Coelocanths are a mostly extinct group of fish, for the sole surviving member and popular 'living fossil' see Latimeria." Or whatever your preference is, but for Wiki's sake, this article needs to be split bad. Abyssal (talk) 11:46, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

  • I agree, as it is, it confuses more than anything. Better have a nearly identical, but separate article on the genus and for the species than a big, undecipherable lump. Even extinct coelacanths have their own articles, why not the modern ones? FunkMonk (talk) 20:31, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Anbiguous phrase[edit]

"... scientists infer that individual coelacanths may live as long as 80 to 100 years" makes no sense.

Why not? Are you unsure of the meaning of "infer"?-- (talk) 10:05, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

New find in Zanzibar[edit]

See [1]. -Mardus 23:35, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, Tanzanian catches has been discussed in some detail in the article - news item has been integrated into the timeline.--Eqdoktor 06:30, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

new coelacanth fossil find[edit]

this story is from

A 400 million-year-old fossilized fin from a strange-looking, primitive fish is shedding light on how fins evolved into limbs that enabled animals to walk on land.

The fossil fin comes from a coelacanth, a type of lobe-finned fish, and provides the only skeletal fin remains to date from the extinct relatives of today's living coelacanths. Scientists spotted the four-inch-long (10 centimeter-long) specimen at Beartooth Butte in northern Wyoming and have dubbed the fish Shoshinia arctopteryx after the Shoshine people and the Shoshone National Forest. When alive, the fish would have been about 18 to 24 inches (46 to 62 centimeters) in length.

The finding, detailed in the July/August issue of the journal Evolution & Development, shows the arrangement of bones within the fossil fin match the fin patterns found in primitive, living ray-finned fishes, such as sturgeons, paddlefishes and sharks.

Surprisingly, however, the patterns don't match the lobe-finned fish's living relative. Until now, scientists had assumed the living coelacanths and their relatives, the lungfish, served as accurate models of their ancestors dating back hundreds of millions of years ago.

"Two living fossils, coelacanths and lungfishes, are in fact not primitive," said lead author Matt Friedman of the University of Chicago. "They are specialized, and they are not particularly good models for understanding the origin of limbs."

read the other half here: Metanoid (talk, email) 01:04, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Oldest living lineage: what does this mean[edit]

I'm not sure this is correct, or at least well worded enough to be clear. Coelacanths are not any older than any other species on the planet, nor are they the only living lineage of jawed fishes: all living jawed fishes are by taxonomic definition living lineages of the first jawed fishes, and all equally old (since they are all still here in the present). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:26, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

D'you think it might mean something about it being a direct link? I know nothing about this, but it's all I could think it means, otherwise yeah, it needs rewording. --Scareth (talk) 22:10, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
This seems like the influence of the "living fossil" fallacy. Not only is it not the oldest living lineage, it's really among the most derived of all fish, as it's closer to tetrapods than anything else. Even if it weren't so misleading, sharks and rays would be the "oldest" (most basal) living lineage of jawed vertebrates. Dinoguy2 (talk) 22:49, 26 March 2008 (UTC)


The genus Whiteia is here listed as "still extant", while other pages indicate it is extinct (Lists of Sarcopterygii and Prehistoric bony fish). As far as I can tell, Latimeria is the only extant genus. Rolf Schmidt (talk) 02:26, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Crudely I resolved this contradiction by simply removing (still extant) and (extinct) on Whiteia and Family Whiteiidae. So (extinct) should be reinserted, by one who know something more than me. Said: Rursus () 10:09, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Extinct according to "Professor Paul's Guide to Fish". Inserted. Said: Rursus () 10:30, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Someone here is discussing Wikipedia as being a primary source, and so believing Whiteia still being alive! However clever we editors are, one cannot use Wikipedia as a primary source. Anyone can edit Wikipedia, and while most errors are short lived, some may survive for a long time. Those who want reliable source shall consult our list of references and external links, if they refer to academical sites. Encyclopedias should not be used as sources, even if it is Wikipedia. Said: Rursus () 10:40, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Suggestion on article split[edit]

Got a suggestion. Since we can safely assume that when people search for "coelacanth", they actually mean the living members of the clade, maybe we can have Coelacanth as an article specifically pertaining to the members of the genus Latimeria. Then we can have a separate article, Coelacanthiformes, Actinistia or Coelacanthimorpha for the actual taxon containing all known "coelacanth-types" extant and otherwise. Might be worth cleaning the article up over. I'll see what I can do over the next few days. Shrumster (talk) 12:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not too picky about how we split this, but we definitely need to do something. Abyssal (talk) 21:14, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a reasonable split. Just make sure that the other topics are well linked, I'm sure they would be anyway. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 23:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Support. Both extant species need their own articles, separated entirely from this order article. In fact, each non monotypic taxon should technically have its own article. Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 00:16, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

This is getting ridiculous, every minor extinct coelacanth genus now has it's own stub article, but Latimeria can't have one? FunkMonk (talk) 00:46, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


It is finished.Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 21:04, 12 August 2009 (UTC)


Actinistia redirects here, but the definition is somewhere very far down on the page and doesn't even contain an etymology. Shinobu (talk) 06:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Popular culture[edit]

I read this section, and it doesn't tell me anything about coelacanths. It contains no useful information. I'm deleting it, and we'll see if anyone objects. Cadwaladr (talk) 18:44, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

The Flintstones Film,, shows a coelacanth in a fish tank... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikimvn1 (talkcontribs) 13:18, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Sounds trivial to me. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 17:52, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Whether or not something is trivial is objective: is their an external source discussing the coelocanth in Flintstones and the ways it impacted the culture? Or is it somebody watching a movie and saying "hey isn't that a coelocanth?" The latter is original research, not to mention too trivial for inclusion in an encyclopedia. MMartyniuk (talk) 18:06, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Readd the Pop Culture section?

There's more than the flintstones. A manga, Animal Crossing, deadmau5... etc. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:24, 27 July 2014 (UTC)


Could some kind knowledgeable individual please add to the "Description" section some information on the notochord. Construction, composition and function. Is the Coelacanth notochord unique in sea fishes? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:58, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Have you any reason to believe it's unique? Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 01:48, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

No reason other than related lungfish species which possess a notochord are perhaps all freshwater fish? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:08, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

This isn't a lungfish-- it's an actinistian. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 20:12, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

Actually I did not call the coelacanth a lungfish, I used the word "related" just as it does in the article. I found what I needed in "Old Fourlegs" by J L B Smith and also "The Biology of Latimeria Chalumnae and the Evolution of Coelacanths" by John A Musick and Michael N Bruton. However I still think the Notochord should feature under the Description section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Article cleanup[edit]

Just to notify any who are interested. I gave the article a big cleanup in line with Wiki guidelines, correcting the many formatting errors and issues that the article had. Mabuska (talk) 22:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

Timeline of genera, scale[edit]

Can someone who knows how please alter the staring point of the timeline to a 25 year boundary, I would do it but not sure exactly why the strange starting point was selected. All the dates are funny, it would make sense if they were on round numbers so people could compare them with other numbers they remember or even gain insight onto the regularity of the scale, now it just looks like a weird index and the origin (present day) is not even labelled. Idyllic press (talk) 19:07, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

The timeline starts at the beginning of the Paleozoic. Are you saying we should arbitrarily exclude a chunk of geologic time to produce a round number? Abyssal (talk) 18:36, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Incidentally, any reason Latimeria isn't on the timeline? MMartyniuk (talk) 19:12, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I didn't want to add it without being sure if any fossils were known. I didn't think there were, but I didn't want to OR. Abyssal (talk) 02:35, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
If no fossils are known that far back, you can cite a source and add the |earliest= parameter. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 17:48, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
No fossil Latimeria are known, but it says "time line of genera" not "timeline of genera known from fossils" :) MMartyniuk (talk) 19:04, 19 October 2011 (UTC)
True, but if fossils were known me just adding it to the late Holocene would show a misleadingly short duration. I'll add it now, though. Abyssal (talk) 15:42, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I think this is just something we have to deal with. These charts can't be very precise. The bar for a critter known from only a single fossil, for example, would be invisible. Better to give it a couple million year window and treat it as a 'point'. MMartyniuk (talk) 16:29, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Also, can we have the chart start at Devonian so all that space on the left isn't wasted? MMartyniuk (talk) 16:33, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it'd be interesting to see how many (and which) articles need updating now that we've changed "fossil range" to say the more inclusive "temporal range". Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 17:47, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't think this would change anything for fossil taxa, are we meant to include inferred ghost lineages or molecular clock inferences or something? But any modern animal would need Holocene or Recent or something. Actually "Recent" is a fossil range term... should e.g. Bird say "Late Jurasic - Holocene" instead? Or - Present? MMartyniuk (talk) 19:34, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm3.svg Facepalm I just realized this discussion isn't about the timescale in the taxobox! Oops! Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 18:06, 20 October 2011 (UTC)
I was mainly referring to lineages which we assume existed based on molecular divergence calculations, yes. Most modern animals have "recent" listed anyway. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 04:18, 22 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm tickled to see that my query got such a lot of comment. My request was to have 8 million years of white space added at the start of the line instead of 20 at the end, not to change any of the data just so the numbers on the scale will be recognizable and have one of the tics land up on the origin. This would allow non-mathematicians to get some benefit from the scale, it took me a while to puzzle out where the origin was because not having seen one of these time lines before I did not realise one must infer that the end of the bar is the present day. Having the time line stop at 0 would make the most sense but may play havoc with the new Latimeria legend (and similar legends on other charts close to the present) unless they can be placed before the bar. Idyllic press (talk) 07:15, 24 October 2011 (UTC)
It would make sense for all the timelines on Wikipedia to have the 0 origin automatically placed by the time line template, it is the only common point in all of them really and would automatically place any scale ticks in meaningful places (at what ever spacing is selected) even if this or other timelines were changed to start at different places like the Devonian instead of the Cambrian as suggested above. Idyllic press (talk) 07:21, 24 October 2011 (UTC)

Where to see a coelacanth[edit]

I'm aware that this doesn't have anything to do with improving the article, but does anyone know a zoo or aquarium displaying coelacanths. I've always wanted to see a live specimen, as to me the coelacanth is a link to the ancient past, which I've always found quite fascinating. Sorry if this comment is stupid or a waste of your time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Good question. An international treaty forbids the moving around of the two remaining species of these fish, making it illegal to display in zoos (or even to send to a museum!). However, extinct coelacanths may be moved around. Bob the WikipediaN (talkcontribs) 18:45, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

They live in deep water (180m), so whether a caught specimen could even be kept alive whilst it was decompressed, and then whether it would continue to live in a tank, etc, etc .... you see the difficulty. However, if you would settle for videos of them filmed in their natural habitat, there are many many of those online, in the external links. Old_Wombat (talk) 08:42, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

They move to shallower water at night, and in the book "Search for a Living Fossil" one was caught alive in the Comoro Islands and kept alive in an improvised tank but with the coming of daylight, the heat and light killed it - today, medium deep-water fishes have special aquariums and kept alive in public institutions and a coelacanth could be maintained - however, as stated above, international treaty forbids this. And some point if the preservation of the species required it, that may change for a special grant to a research group. HammerFilmFan (talk) 18:01, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Human consumption section[edit]

In the human consumption section it is stated that, on the topic of consumption of coelacanth, medical accounts report that "It was difficult to contain the oil that was pooling in substantial quantities in the lower rectum." This being quite a catchy phrase, I googled it (beyond the 'straight dope' reference given in the wiki-article) and it seems to be traceable back to an article in a book (or journal?) titled 'Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, Volume 57' and further to a study discussed in the article by Berman et al from 1981. It seems however that the phrase describes the effects of eating oilfish or escolar and no specific mention is made of the coelacanth. Although it does seem probable that eating coelocanth should have similar effects (I think the latin name of the fish is given in a 'similar fish' table in the AFNR article), I think it's misleading to quote the phrase in question as 'medical acount' on the 'consumption of coelacanth'. I'm certainly not relevant with the subject so if I have understood something wrong pls say so..Otherwise, it sure is a catchy phrase but in my view it is definitely a false statement and is also misleading and should be removed or at least changed to acknowledge that such symptoms would be expected based on research on fish with similarly high oil content. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 31 March 2012 (UTC)


Please mark extinct lineages and sublineages with a dagger (†). I find it confusing otherwise.--Solomonfromfinland (talk) 08:31, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

The first sentence in the "General description" section: "Latimeria chalumnae and L. menadoensis are the only two known living coelacanth species." -- Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:41, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Timeline of Genera, most of the genera aren't coelacanths?[edit]

Why is this? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

AGREED. Panderichthys is not a coelacanth, neither is Eusthenopteron, etc. The article does not reflect current paleontological thinking... this desperately needs to be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Human Consumption section[edit]

I really don't think this section is necessary. The reference isn't very reliable, either. Why not just mention that coelacanth catches aren't usually for the food market? In other fish articles where fish aren't typically consumed we don't have a section for that; so why in this article? These facts aren't important. Thanks for feedback, Ensignricky (talk) 21:51, 17 August 2013 (UTC)

Well, that's just your viewpoint. This fish is a "living fossil," and in an endangered state, so the concern about human consumption is not only sourced, but is an interesting fact. If the statement had not been in the article, I and others would have investigated and contributed something along the same lines. We're not talking about a tuna here ... HammerFilmFan (talk) 17:50, 23 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. I do believe that facts on human consumption should be mentioned, but I still question this section. You stated that we're not talking about tuna here, but actually an entire section regarding the consumption is more fitting in a tuna article, a major species targeted by commercial fishermen. The reference mentions field reports, but gives no further detail, and lacks any direct statements from any given expert. There is no dire need to rework the section, and I would be content if it stays the way it is. I will throw out the suggestion that human consumption be covered in a section that discusses other interactions with fishermen, like is done in the frilled shark article. Regards, Ensignricky Talk 21:48, 12 January 2014 (UTC)

You missed the point entirely - "tuna" - as in, this is not a populous commercial harvest fish - this is a living fossil, and rare, and eating them by the locals should be pointed out and also strongly discouraged. HammerFilmFan (talk) 14:01, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Oldest extant order?[edit]

Not sure if anyone's asked yet, but at an age of almost 400 million years, this order seems like it would be the oldest with any living members. Is it, and if not, what is? (talk) 01:12, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, Xiphosurida is older by a good 50 million years, and that's just the first thing I checked. Within vertebrates, lampreys are almost as old. It's a bit artificial though, since orders aren't "real" in any biological sense - it's an entirely human grouping which often translates poorly across very different taxa (e.g. Order monotremata vs Order Coleoptera]]). HCA (talk) 02:18, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

I've resurrected a merge proposal to make this Coelacanth article the primary article for the living species' details, and redirect to Coelacanth from the existing Family article and Species stubs. Please feel free to discuss this potential merge at Talk:Latimeria#Merge_back_to_Coelacanth. Mamyles (talk) 18:08, 20 April 2015 (UTC)