Coelacanth



[see-luh-kanth] /ˈsi ləˌkænθ/

noun
1.
a crossopterygian fish, Latimeria chalumnae, thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous Period but found in 1938 off the coast of southern Africa.
/ˈsiːləˌkænθ/
noun
1.
a primitive marine bony fish of the genus Latimeria (subclass Crossopterygii), having fleshy limblike pectoral fins and occurring off the coast of E Africa: thought to be extinct until a living specimen was discovered in 1938
n.

1857, from Modern Latin Coelacanthus (genus name, 1839, Agassiz), from Greek koilos “hollow” (from PIE root *kel-; see cell) + akantha “spine” (see acrid). So called from the hollow fin rays supporting the tail. Known only as a fossil, the most recent one from 70 million years ago, until discovered living in the sea off the east coast of South Africa Dec. 22, 1938. The specimen was described by Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, who wrote about it to S.African ichthyologist J.L.B. Smith.

I stared and stared, at first in puzzlement. I did not know any fish of our own, or indeed of any seas like that; it looked more like a lizard. And then a bomb seemed to burst in my brain, and beyond that sketch and the paper of the letter, I was looking at a series of fishy creatures that flashed up as on a screen, fishes no longer here, fishes that had lived in dim past ages gone, and of which only fragmentary remains in rock are known. [J.L.B. Smith, “Old Fourlegs: The Story of the Coelacanth,” 1956]

coelacanth
(sē’lə-kānth’)

Any of various fishes of the order Coelacanthiformes, having lobed, fleshy fins. Coelacanths are crossopterygians, the ancient group of lobe-finned fishes that gave rise to land vertebrates. They were known only from Paleozoic and Mesozoic fossils until a living species (Latimeria chalumnae) was found in the Indian Ocean in 1938. At least one other (Malania anjouanae) has been discovered since then.

Tagged:

Read Also:

  • Coele

    1. variant of as final element of a compound word: enterocoele. 1. a combining form meaning “cavity,” used in the formation of compound words: coelenteron. prefix 1. indicating a cavity within a body or a hollow organ or part: coelacanth, coelenterate, coelenteron

  • Coelanaglyphic

    [si-lan-uh-glif-ik] /sɪˌlæn əˈglɪf ɪk/ adjective 1. (of a carving) executed in cavo-relievo.



  • Coelenterata

    [si-len-tuh-rey-tuh] /sɪˌlɛn təˈreɪ tə/ noun 1. the phylum comprising the . Coelenterata Coe·len·ter·a·ta (sĭ-lěn’tə-rā’tə) n. A phylum of invertebrate animals including the jellyfishes, hydras, sea anemones, and corals.

  • Coelenterate

    [si-len-tuh-reyt, -ter-it] /sɪˈlɛn təˌreɪt, -tər ɪt/ noun 1. any invertebrate animal of the phylum , including the hydras, jellyfishes, sea anemones, and corals, characterized by a single internal cavity serving for digestion, excretion, and other functions and having tentacles on the oral end. Compare . adjective 2. belonging or pertaining to the . /sɪˈlɛntəˌreɪt; -rɪt/ […]



Disclaimer: Coelacanth definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.