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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".

PhysiologyEdit

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.

DietEdit

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

CoelacanthusEdit

Coelacanthus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Sarcopterygii
Subclass Actinistia
Order Coelacanthiformes
Family Coelacanthidae
Genus Coelacanthus
1st Species Coelacanthus granulatus
2nd Species Coelacanthus gracilis
3rd Species Coelacanthus minor
4th Species Coelacanthus harlemensis
Other attributes
Time Range 299-145 mya
Location Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, Madagascar
Name Meaning Hollow spine
Physical Dimensions 1 meter long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

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.


















ChinleaEdit

Chinlea
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Sarcopterygii
Subclass Actinistia
Order Coelacanthiformes
Family Mawsoniidae
Genus Chinlea
1st Species Chinlea sorenseni
Other attributes
Time Range 228-203.6 mya
Location United States of America
Name Meaning Animal from Chinle
Physical Dimensions 1.5 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

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.














MawsoniaEdit

Mawsonia
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Sarcopterygii
Subclass Actinistia
Order Coelacanthiformes
Family Mawsoniidae
Genus Mawsonia
1st Species Mawsonia gigas
2nd Species Mawsonia brasiliensis
3rd Species Mawsonia lavocati
4th Species Mawsonia libyca
Other attributes
Time Range 112-99 mya
Location Algeria, Brazil, Morocco, and Tunisia
Name Meaning Mawson's animal
Physical Dimensions 6 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

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.
















LatimeriaEdit

Latimeria
Latimeria menadoensis
Side view of the Indonesian coelacanth (credits to ARKive)
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Sarcopterygii
Subclass Actinistia
Order Coelacanthiformes
Family Latimeriidae
Genus Latimeria
1st Species Latimeria chalumnae (West Indian Ocean coelacanth)
2nd Species Latimeria menadoensis (Indonesian coelacanth)
Other attributes
Time Range 0 mya
Location South Africa, Comoros, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, Indonesia
Name Meaning Latimer's animal
Physical Dimensions 1.8 meters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

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.

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