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Sea monsters

posted by Ainsley Drew   Mar 27, 2009

The coelacanth, a 400 million year old prehistoric fish once thought to be extinct, has undergone a CT scan. Forty eggs were found inside of the large, frozen bodies of the two coelacanth tested, originally caught off the coast of Tanzania and then shipped to Japan for study.

The coelacanth young are thought to hatch inside of the mother and grow to 30cm before their live birth, when they swim outside of her body, looking identical to their parents, only tiny and cute. The discovery of the eggs could contribute to evidence that the ancient ocean dweller is the missing link between fish and amphibians:

Many scientists believe that the unique characteristics of the coelacanth represent an early step in the evolution of fish to terrestrial four-legged animals like amphibians. The most striking feature of this “living fossil” is its paired lobe fins that extend away from its body like legs and move in an alternating pattern, like a trotting horse.

As far as fish go, it’s just a shade prettier than the sea wolf.