Navigation Links
New coelacanth find rewrites history of the ancient fish
Date:5/3/2012

(Edmonton) Coelacanths, an ancient group of fishes once thought to be long extinct, made headlines in 1938 when one of their modern relatives was caught off the coast of South Africa. Now coelacanths are making another splash and University of Alberta researchers are responsible.

Lead U of A researcher Andrew Wendruff identified fossils of a coelacanth that he says are so dramatically different from previous finds, they shatter the theory that coelacanths were evolutionarily stagnant in that their body shape and life-style changed little since the origin of the group.

Wendruff says his one-metre-long, forked tailed coelacanth was an 'off-shoot' lineage that lived 240 million years ago. It falls between the earliest coelacanth fossils of 410 million years ago and the latest fossils dated about 75 million years ago, near the end of the age of dinosaurs.

"Our coelacanth had a forked tail, indicating it was a fast-moving, aggressive predator, which is very different from the shape and movement of all other coelacanths in the fossil record," said Wendruff.

Wendruff's research co-author, U of A Professor Emeritus Mark Wilson, describes typical coelacanths as having chunky bodies, fins of varying size and broad, flexible tails. "These fish were slow moving and probably lay in wait for their prey," said Wilson.

Wendruff's coelacanth is named Rebellatrix, which means rebel coelacanth. The researchers say Rebellatrix came along after the end-Permian mass extinction 250 million years ago, an event so lethal it wiped out 90 per cent of marine life. Rebellatrix filled a previously unoccupied predator niche, but it didn't fare well.

"Rebellatrix was likely a spectacular failure in the evolution of cruising predation," said Wendruff. "Clearly some other fish groups with forked-tails must have outperformed this coelacanth as it does not appear later in the fossil record."

The fossils of Rebellatrix described by the U of A team were found in the Rocky Mountains near Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia.

The research by Wendruff and Wilson was published May 2, as the cover article in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.


'/>"/>

Contact: Brian Murphy
brian.murphy@ualberta.ca
780-492-6041
University of Alberta
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Study rewrites the evolutionary history of C4 grasses
2. Extinct moa rewrites New Zealands history
3. Earth history and evolution
4. Family history of liver cancer increases risk of developing the disease
5. Scientists trace evolutionary history of what mammals eat
6. Hidden in plain sight, concrete holds a strange history
7. Nobel history illustrates gap in grants to young scientists
8. What makes rainforests unique? History, not ecology
9. Using human genomes to illuminate the mysteries of early human history
10. Mouse genome sequences reveal variability, complex evolutionary history
11. Sea smarts: Scientists reconstruct evolutionary history of mollusks
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/8/2017)... The biometrics market has reached a ... organizations, desires to better authenticate or identify users ... challenge questions), biometrics is quickly working its way ... is driven by use cases, though there traditionally ... uses cases, with consumer-facing use cases encompassing authentication, ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... , its innovative, highly flexible and award winning eClinical ... customers. iMedNet is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ... Data Capture (EDC), but also delivers an entire suite ...
(Date:2/7/2017)... New York , February 7, 2017 ... as ID Global Solutions Corporation [OTC: IDGS], ("Ipsidy" or ... management and electronic transaction processing services, is pleased to ... of the Company. Effective January 31, 2017, ... the Board of Directors, CEO and President.  An experienced ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... , Feb. 22, 2017 Aethlon Medical, Inc. ... of a study that validated the ability of the ... associated with increased mortality in immune-suppressed sepsis patients and ... The objective of the study was to ... (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Herpes Simplex virus 1 ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... N.C., Feb. 22, 2017  United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: ... results for the fourth quarter and year ended ... results reflect continued growth as net revenues reached ... Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics, Chairman and Chief ... to develop and advance our growing product pipeline, ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... Vortex ... , a fully automated benchtop system for collecting intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) ... at the Molecular Medicine Tri Conference (Tri-Con) Annual Meeting 2017 (February 19–24 San ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... Treximo will pair its $200M operational capacity with its strategic internal leadership ... in areas affecting quality and operational management. With office locations in ...
Breaking Biology Technology: