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Ancient Creature of the Deep

Coelacanth Quiz


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4. The first recognized living coelacanth, which was caught off the coast of South Africa in 1938, was named Latimeria chalumnae in honor of the discoverer of the fish and the site of the find.

Coelacanth external TRUE FALSE Coelacanth - bone structure


True
The fish was caught in the ocean near the mouth of the Chalumna river in southeastern South Africa. Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the 31-year-old curator of the nearby East London Museum, was a fan of unusual fish and had contracted with local fishermen to save any interesting specimens for her. She immediately recognized that the strange blue iridescent fish was significant and sent a simple drawing of the fish to a nearby scientist and self-taught ichthyologist, J.L.B. Smith. (To find out what happened next, see Moment of Discovery.
Marjorie Courtenay


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