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Ancient Creature of the Deep

Coelacanth Quiz


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9. Scientists are not sure why coelacanths disappeared from the fossil record some 66 million years ago, around the same time that the dinosaurs went extinct.

Coelacanth external TRUE FALSE Coelacanth - bone structure


True
Coelacanths are found in the fossil record as far back as 400 million years ago and even survived an earlier mass extinction 245 million years ago, yet fossils younger than 66 million years have never been found, for reasons that remain unclear. It's possible that following the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs, coelacanths took up new habitats, like those found in the Comoros, that are not conducive to fossilization; the steep underwater slopes of these volcanic islands prevent the buildup of sediments that would normally lead to fossilization.
Coelacanth fossil


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