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Trunk-snouted fish joins 'living fossil' list

A prehistoric fish that inhabits the waters off southern Australia and New Zealand evolves even slower than the coelacanth, a famous "living fossil" whose DNA has barely changed over hundreds of millions of years, scientists said Wednesday. The genome of the elephant shark "is evolving significantly slower than other vertebrates, including the coelacanth", they reported in the journal Nature.

Trunk-snouted fish joins 'living fossil' list

A prehistoric fish that inhabits the waters off southern Australia and New Zealand evolves even slower than the coelacanth, a famous "living fossil" whose DNA has barely changed over hundreds of millions of years, scientists said Wednesday. The genome of the elephant shark "is evolving significantly slower than other vertebrates, including the coelacanth", they reported in the journal Nature.

Amazon fish has super-shield against piranhas

An "armoured" fish living in the Amazon has evolved a remarkable multi-layer defence against the voracious piranha, materials scientists reported Tuesday. Microscopic examination and mechanical testing have revealed the secrets of the arapaima, one of the biggest freshwater fish on the planet. Researchers led by Robert Ritchie at the University of California at Berkeley found its scales have an ultra-tough outer shell, designed to "promote tooth fracture at the point of penetration".

Fish out of water: coelacanth helps evolutionary probe

Biologists on Wednesday said they had unravelled the DNA of the coelacanth, a "living fossil" fish whose ancient lineage can shed light on how life in the sea crept onto land hundreds of millions of years ago. Analysis of the coelacanth genome shows three billion "letters" of DNA code, making it roughly the same size as a human's, they said. The genetic blueprint appears to have changed astonishingly little over the aeons, pointing to one of the most successful species ever investigated.

New quest to study 'living fossil' coelacanth

French and South African biologists will dive to deep-sea caves in the Indian Ocean next month in a bid to locate the coelacanth, the "living fossil" fish whose history predates the dinosaurs, France's National Museum of Natural History said on Friday. The "Gombessa" expedition, named after a local term for the coelacanth, will run from April 5 to May 15, exploring locations in the Jesser Canyon, 120 metres (390 feet) below the waters of Sodwana Bay, where the strange fish is believed to live.
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