Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

'Living Fossil' Fish Still Evolving

BOCHUM, Germany (UPI) — A fish dubbed a “living fossil” that hasn’t changed fundamentally for 400 million years is still able to genetically adapt to its environment, researchers say.

While scientists have confirmed that coelacanths, whose morphology has not significantly changed since the Devonian age, are in fact evolving slowly, genetic studies from specimens from various sites on the east coast of Africa show genetic adaptation to specific geographic regions.

“We have thus been able to show that despite their slow evolutionary rate, coelacanths continue to develop and are potentially also able to adapt to new environmental conditions,” Kathrin Lampert, researcher at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, said.

“The image of the coelacanth as a passive relic of bygone times should therefore be put into perspective.”

Coelacanths were considered extinct until a live specimen was hauled aboard a fishing boat in 1938. Since then, more than 100 have been found off the coast of East Africa.

There are probably only a few hundred specimens left in the world, researchers said.

“Coelacanths are rare and extremely endangered. Understanding the genetic diversity of these animals could help make preservation schemes against their extinction more effective,” Lampert said.



UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “'Living Fossil' Fish Still Evolving”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.