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Ancient Creature of the Deep

Coelacanth Quiz


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10. Growing public awareness of the unique value of this ancient fish has contributed to population growth and improved its chances of surviving well into the future.

Coelacanth external TRUE FALSE Coelacanth - bone structure


Not necessarily
A 1994 count in the Comoros showed that coelacanth numbers had dropped by 30 percent in a three-year period. Accidental catches due to increased fishing are partly responsible, but it's also clear that the creature once considered useless by local fishermen is now a valuable commodity sought by scientists and others around the world. Rumors have even circulated that fluid taken from the fish's notochord has been sold by the drop in Asian markets as an elixir ensuring long life. Fortunately, a ban on international trade begun in 1994 may have helped to stabilize the population in the Comoros.
Coelacanth


Lauren Aguirre is executive editor of NOVA online.


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