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:3/29/2017)... , March 29, 2017  higi, the health ... in North America , today announced ... and the acquisition of EveryMove. The new investment and ... set of tools to transform population health activities through ... lifestyle data. higi collects and secures data ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. , March 27, 2017 ... by Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) ... Analytics Outpatient EMR Adoption Model sm . In ... top 12% of U.S. hospitals using an electronic ... recognized CHS for its high level of EMR ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The Global ... CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately ... the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, 2017 , ... The award-winning ... to broadcast first quarter 2018. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET on RFD-TV. ... is faced with the challenge of how to continue to feed a growing nation. ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 09, ... ... published on October 5, 2017, in the medical journal, Epilepsia, Brain Sentinel’s ... the gold standard, video EEG, in detecting generalized tonic-clonic seizures (GTCS) using ...
(Date:10/7/2017)...  The 2017 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recognizes ... Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson ... (cryo-EM) have helped to broaden the use ... The winners worked with systems manufactured by Thermo ... resolved, three-dimensional images of protein structures that lead ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ... , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual ... to cancer research with a month-long promotion supporting the advancement of breast cancer research ... use promo code PinkRibbon to get 10 percent off their purchase of every the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: