Prehistoric fish are early fish that are known only from fossil records. They are the earliest known vertebrates, and include the first and extinct fish that lived through the Cambrian to the Quaternary. The study of prehistoric fish is called paleoichthyology. A few living forms, such as the coelacanth are also referred to as prehistoric fish, or even living fossils, due to their current rarity and similarity to extinct forms. Fish which have become recently extinct are not usually referred to as prehistoric fish.