The Nat Geo channel recently shared this fantastic video of divers with a large Coelacanth. While the size was impressive, the articulation in the Coelacanth’s distinctive three-lobed caudal fin is fascinating. We could do without the faked underwater conversation (where’s Attenborough when you need him?). According to the site, they will re-air the related episode, Dinofish, on October 30th 7pm EST.
The Coelacanth was originally believed to have gone extinct during the Cretaceous period(60+ million years ago), until a fishing trawler pulled one up in 1938. In the last 20 years, they have been encountered by divers in the 300-600 ft range. Recreational divers encountered a small group at around 300 feet near Sodwana Bay, which lies off Natal Coast in South Africa(near the Mozambique border). This is a subtropical zone, and therefore the cooler temperatures support these deepwater living fossils at their shallower range. Perhaps this is where this footage was filmed.
[youtube width=”680″ height=”400″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jl_txxYQEA[/youtube]