Τετάρτη, 22 Δεκεμβρίου 2010

Retro Action, December 22, 1938: A "Living Dinosaur" Is Found in the Ocean.

rtxkweopage

It's a plot straight out of science fiction: 72 years ago today, a prehistoric creature thought to have gone extinct millions of years ago was found intact and living right under our noses.

Okay, so the coelacanth might not be as sexy as a T. rex or velociraptor, but scientists were still dumbfounded when one turned up off the coast of South Africa in 1938. After all, there had been no record of any surviving in the past 65 million years.  
More closely related to tetrapods—four-legged vertebrates—than any other fish, coelacanths have long been considered the possible "missing link" between fish and land animals. 
Decades after the discovery, scientists found another species of coelacanth in 1999 off the coast of Indonesia, confirming their suspicions that at one point the forgotten species was probably hugely successful with many variations.  
Not bad for a fish with a brain that takes up only 1.5 percent of its brain cavity (the rest is filled with fat). 
Of course, all this discovery just raises the next question: with less than 5 percent of the ocean explored, what else is out there? 
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