The Swimming Dead

MADAGASCAR- It has been discovered that a giant, mysterious fish from the era of the dinosaurs, can live to be one century old.

 

The coelacanth, also known as the fossil fish, a slow-moving fish that can grow to be the size of a human, has earned its name as a ‘living fossil.’

 

A fish that was once thought to have a lifespan of 20 years has recently been revealed to live to be 100-years-old. Females don’t reach their sexual maturity until their late 50s, while males reach theirs between the ages of 40 and 69, according to a study done by French scientists. In addition, researchers believe the fish’s pregnancy lasts for about five years.

 

The technique scientists used to calculate the fish’s age was to count the big lines on a specific coelacanth scale, but French scientists discovered they were overlooking smaller lines that could only be seen by polarized light. This technique is used to work out the age of commercial fish.

 

The fish’s slow aging is similar to that of a shark, which can also live to be hundreds of years old. Although the two creatures have no genetic connection, scientists believe this may be because they inhabit similar environments.

 

The coelacanth has swum the globe for 400 million years and was thought to be extinct until they were found alive in 1938 off South America. This most recent discovery of the fossil fish was found in West Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar by a group of South African shark hunters.

 

The fish is so endangered that scientists are only allowed to study the specimens that are already caught and dead, according to The Guardian.

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