The coelacanths are a successful order of widespread actinistian lobe-finned fish from the Early Devonian-Holocene of the entire world. They, as a whole, were named in 1937 by Lev Semyonovich Berg. When first discovered, they were thought to have gone extinct, right until they were discovered swimming around in the African oceans, thus giving them the reputation of "living fossils".
Coelacanths resemble the generic lobe-finned fish. They have a large, bulky body, a semi-small head with small jaws, and large, fleshy, lobe-like fins. Their bodies are covered in scaly skin.
Coelacanths are predators, preying on cephalopods and smaller fish. Their jaws, despite being small, could open very wide in order to get a hold of any struggling prey.
Coelacanth genera (note that those are not all the ones that exist)Edit
|1st Species||Coelacanthus granulatus|
|2nd Species||Coelacanthus gracilis|
|3rd Species||Coelacanthus minor|
|4th Species||Coelacanthus harlemensis|
|Time Range||299-145 mya|
|Location||Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, Madagascar|
|Name Meaning||Hollow spine|
|Physical Dimensions||1 meter long|
Coelacanthus is a coelacanthid coelacanth from the Pennsylvanian-Early Cretaceous of Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States of America, and Madagascar. It was named in 1836 by Louis Agassiz. It was the 1st coelacanth discovered, and was very similar to the later Latimeria, only being smaller and having a longer head than it.
|1st Species||Chinlea sorenseni|
|Time Range||228-203.6 mya|
|Location||United States of America|
|Name Meaning||Animal from Chinle|
|Physical Dimensions||1.5 meters long|
Chinlea is a mawsoniid coelacanth from the Late Triassic of the United States of America. It was named in 1967 by Bobb Schaeffer. It was a relatively lithe lobe-finned fish, and its mouth was filled with sharp teeth, which were used for catching smaller fish and tearing them apart.
|1st Species||Mawsonia gigas|
|2nd Species||Mawsonia brasiliensis|
|3rd Species||Mawsonia lavocati|
|4th Species||Mawsonia libyca|
|Time Range||112-99 mya|
|Location||Algeria, Brazil, Morocco, and Tunisia|
|Name Meaning||Mawson's animal|
|Physical Dimensions||6 meters long|
Mawsonia is a mawsoniid coelacanth from the Early-Late Cretaceous of Algeria, Brazil, Morocco, and Tunisia. It was named in 1907 by Arthur Smith Woodward. It was the biggest coelacanth to ever live; however, it would still have been prey to large predators like Spinosaurus.
Latimeria is a latimeriid coelacanth from the Holocene of South Africa, Comoros, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, and Indonesia. It was named in 1939 by James Leonard Brierley Smith. It is the only surviving genus of coelacanth, and is a slow swimmer, sometimes even using the currents to move itself. As well as this, it could slow down its metabolism into a complete state of hibernation; often times, this may help scientists understand why it is so successful.