Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Tiny lung found in ancient ‘living fossil’ fish

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015

by Brett Smith

Known as a “living fossil”, the coelacanth was thought to have been extinct until a fisherman pulled one up from waters off the South African coast in 1938. Ever since its discovery, the tale of the deep-water fish just keeps getting stranger.

In the latest chapter, revealed by a report published by the journal Nature Communications, scientists recently discovered a small obsolete lung in the creature’s abdomen–a feature analogous to our own appendix.

While coelacanths now use gills to pull oxygen from the surrounding water, the study team speculated that the newly-found lung is evidence that the fish once breathed air from above the water’s surface.

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