Researchers Reveal Genetic Secrets of “Living Fossil” Coelacanth

Researchers Reveal Genetic Secrets of “Living Fossil” Coelacanth

Scientists have revealed the genetic secrets of a "living fossil" Coelacanth by sequencing its genome. Coelacanth is a deep-sea fish that closely resemble its ancestors lived at least 300 million years ago.

The findings revealed that evolution of some of the animal's genes happened very slowly. The study also analyzed the association of the fish with the first land-bases animals. Scientists believe that four large fleshy fins of coelacanth could have been the predecessors of limbs.

Also, the study suggested that the fish had a close relation with early tetrapods. Tetrapods were the first creatures to drag themselves out of the ocean and develop the ability to live on land.

The study was published in the journal Nature. Lungfish was suggested by the study to have more genes related to land-based animals. Lungfish also has four limbs.

The coelacanth is known to grow 2m-long and is found in caves deep beneath the waves. It was previously thought that they have been extinct for millions of years, until 1938 when it was stuck in a trawlerman's net off the coast of Africa.

An international team of researchers sequenced the coelacanth's genome that contained nearly three billion DNA bases.

Professor Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, from the University of Uppsala in Sweden and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in the US, said, "It lives several hundred meters down in the ocean, and it may also be in an environment where it doesn't have a lot of competitors".


FrenchTribune Specials

Grey Squirrel is Most Spotted Species in UK’s Garden Wildlife

The second part of the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch (BGBW) crowned grey squirrel as the most spotted species of garden wildlife in the UK. This year, for the first time, participants in the annual birdwatch were asked to count other wildlife species as well seen in the gardens from March to October.

During this period, hibernating animals...

Most Popular

Scientists Discover rare and Mysterious 500-Million-Year-Old Embryo Fossils

Researchers in southern China have found mysterious...

Smithsonian’s National Museum finally gets T-Rex Fossils

The FedEx truck finally arrived with a 38-foot-long, 66...

‘Peggy’ is New Moon of Saturn: NASA

NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the image of a...

Dr. Patricia C. Wright’s Love for Lemurs

Dr. Patricia C. Wright is a primatologist and a...

Poll

Can Greece Come out of Economic Problems: