Spotlight: the coelacanth

To kick off a new year, we’re revisiting one of our favorite creatures of the sea. A hollow-spined fish species dating from  a zillion years ago, coelacanths were thought to be extinct until 1938, when one was caught by fishermen off South Africa’s coast and pulled off the docks by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, curator at a small museum there. The story of how she persevered to get the 127 lb fish ID’d is fascinating – the museum chairman dismissed it as “nothing but a rock cod.”

She described it as having “four limb-like fins and a strange puppy-dog tail” and as “the most beautiful fish I had ever seen”.

This discovery made news ’round the world, sparked ongoing research and expeditions to Continue reading “Spotlight: the coelacanth”