A large bony marine fish with a three-lobed tail fin and fleshy pectoral fins. It was known only from fossils until one was found alive in 1938; since then others have been found near the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean and off Sulawesi, Indonesia.
- Latimeria chalumnae, family Latimeriidae (or Coelacanthidae), subclass Crossopterygii.
- Tetrapods are part of a larger groups called Sarcopterygii, which also includes several groups of lobe-finned fish, such as lungfish and the coelacanth.
- In most fossil coelacanths, the swimbladder appears to be ossified and, consequently, these fishes were probably confined to shallow water.
- They were hit hard by the terminal Devonian extinction event, and most marine forms died out then, only the coelacanths continuing.
Mid 19th century: from modern Latin Coelacanthus (genus name), from Greek koilos 'hollow' + akantha 'spine' (its fins have hollow spines).
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