posted: 08/27/12

The coelacanth is referred to as a living fossil because it is the only remaining species of a group of fish species that died out millions of years ago. It is found in the deep coastal waters of eastern Africa, where rocky shores are battered by strong oceanic currents. It is a large fish, growing to a length of about 6 feet, and it moves along the rocky slopes with the help of fleshy pectoral fins. Populations of this species are thought to be critically low.

IUCN Status: Critically Endangered

Major Threat: Accidental capture by fishing operations

Habitat: Volcanic and rocky slopes in deep coastal waters

Location: Eastern Africa

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