Associated PressJune 18, 2021 19:45:37 IST
New research has found that coelacanths, a giant strange fish that still exists since the dinosaur era, can live for 100 years.
These slow-moving, human-sized deep-sea fish, called “living fossils,” are the opposite of living fast, dying young mantras. These nocturnal fish grow at a painfully slow pace.
Studies show that women do not sexually mature until their late 50s, while male coelacanths mature sexually between the ages of 40 and 69. And perhaps most strangely, researchers believe that fish gestation lasts about five years.
The coelacanth, which has existed for 400 million years, was considered extinct until it was discovered to be alive off the coast of South Africa in 1938. Scientists have long believed that coelacanths live for about 20 years. However, according to a Current Biology study on Thursday, French scientists calculated that by applying standard methods to dating commercial fish, they were actually alive for nearly a century.
The coelacanth is endangered, so scientists can only study specimens that have already been captured and are dead.
In the past, scientists calculated the age of fish by counting large lines on a particular coelacanth scale. However, French scientists have noticed the lack of small lines that can only be seen when using polarized light. This is a technique used to determine the age of commercial fish.
Bruno Hernando, a marine evolutionary ecologist at the French Institute for Oceanography, who co-authored the study, said polarization revealed five small lines for each large line. Researchers concluded that the small lines were better correlated with the age of coelacanth — and it showed that their oldest specimen was 84 years old.
Using this technique, scientists studied two embryos and calculated that the largest was 5 years old and the youngest was 9 years old. So Hernande said they thought the pregnancy would last for at least five years in a coelacanth with a living childbirth.
Harold Walker of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography said the five-year pregnancy was “very strange” for fish and animals.
Coelacanths are genetically unrelated and show significant evolutionary differences, but they age as slowly as other deep-sea shark and ray dwellers, Hernande said. “They may have evolved a similar life history because they share a similar type of habitat,” he said.
Giant and strange looking coelacanth fish lived for up to 100 years, find research-Technology News, Firstpost
Source link Giant and strange looking coelacanth fish lived for up to 100 years, find research-Technology News, Firstpost