‘Living fossil’ coelacanth genome sequenced

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The genetic secrets of a "living fossil" have been revealed by scientists.


Researchers sequenced the genome of the coelacanth: a deep-sea fish that closely resembles its ancestors, which lived at least 300 million years ago.

The study found that some of the animal's genes evolved very slowly, giving it its primitive appearance.

The work also shed light on how the fish was related to the first land-based animals.

The coelacanth has four large, fleshy fins, which some scientists believe could have been the predecessors of limbs.

It had been suggested that this fish was closely related to early tetrapods – the first creatures to drag themselves out of the ocean, giving rise to life on land.

But the study, published in the journal Nature, suggested that another fish called the lungfish, which also has four limbs, had more genes in common with land-based animals.

Written By: Rebecca Morelle
continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

4 COMMENTS

  1. @OP – It had been suggested that this fish was closely related to early tetrapods – the first creatures to drag themselves out of the ocean, giving rise to life on land.

    But the study, published in the journal Nature, suggested that another fish called the lungfish, which also has four limbs, had more genes in common with land-based animals.

    That’s the thing about evolutionary adaptations! Unlike the ignorant creationists claims about a “lack of species showing transitional features”, the reality is, that there are often so many showing these variations and adaptations, that it is hard the separate the lineage from the branches and parallel developments.

  2. @ Alan4discussion :- Indeed with some of the transitional forms between reptiles and mammals it is difficult to know whether they should be classed as “Mammal like reptiles ” or “Reptile like mammals”. For example Diarthrognathus is a transitional form between both groups. It’s interesting because it has both mammalian and reptilian jaw joints, a rather mammalian middle and inner ear, and a host of other features that puts it between the two classes.

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