Fish latimeria, the representative of the underwater world represents the closest link between fish and amphibians of the fauna that emerged from the seas and oceans on the earth about 400 million years ago in the Devonian period. Not so long ago, scientists believed that this species of fish is completely extinct, until in 1938 in South Africa the fishermen caught one of the representatives of this species. After this, scientists began to study prehistoric fish coelacanths. Despite this, there are still many mysteries that are not able to solve specialists for our day.
- 1 Fish latimeria: description
- 1.1 appearance
- 1.2 lifestyle behavior
- 1.3 How many lives the coelacanth
- 1.4 Types of coelacanths
- 1.5 Habitat, habitat
- 1.6 Diet Alicanto
- 1.7 Reproduction and offspring
- 1.8 Natural enemies coelacanths
- 1.9 Commercial value
- 1.10 Population and species status
- 2 In conclusion,
Fish latimeria: description
It is believed that this species appeared in the range of 350 million years ago and inhabited a large part of the globe. According to scientists, this species became extinct 80 million years ago, but one of the members managed to catch in the last century in the Indian ocean in a living form.
Alacanti, also called the representatives of the ancient kind, was well known in the art from the Chronicles of fossils. The data indicated that this group has evolved massively and were very diverse about 300 million years ago in the Permian and Triassic periods. Professionals working in the Comoro Islands, located between the African continent and the Northern part of Madagascar, found that the local fishermen have managed to catch up to 2 hundred individuals of this species. This became known quite by accident, as the fishermen did not advertise the capture of these individuals, because of Alicanto meat not fit for human consumption.
Once opened this kind over the next decade managed to learn a lot of information about these fish, through the use of various underwater equipment. It became known that it is lethargic, the night creatures, which in the daytime resting, hiding in their shelters are not in large groups, comprising up to a dozen and a half individuals. These fish prefer to be in waters with a rocky, almost lifeless seabed, including rocky caves located at depths up to 250 meters, maybe more. Hunt fish at night, leaving their shelters at distance of up to 8 km, while returning back to their caves after the onset of the daytime. Alacanti is quite slow and only the sudden approach of danger manifest the power of his tail fin quickly away or avoiding capture.
In the 90-ies of the last century, scientists conducted DNA analysis of individual instances, which allowed to determine the Indonesian representatives of the underwater world as separate species. After some time the fish was caught off the coast of Kenya, and in Sodwana Bay, off the coast of South Africa.
Although there is still much not known about these fishes, tetrapods, colasanti and lung fish are the closest relatives. It’s proved by scientists, in spite of the complicated topology of their relations at the level of species. About the wonderful and detailed history of the discoveries of these ancient representatives of seas and oceans, you can learn from reading the book: “a Fish caught in time: the search for Alicanto”.
This species has significant differences when compared with other types of fish. On the caudal fin, where other species of fish, there is a recess, latimeria is not a large petal. Lobed paired fins, vertebral column remained in its infancy. Alacanti different because it is the only species with functional mizerany joint. He is represented by the element of the skull, which separates the ear and brain from the eyes and nose. Mascherano connection is characterized as functional, allowing you to push the lower jaw down, while raising the upper jaw, allowing alcantar no problem to eat. The feature of the structure of the body of coelacanths lies in the fact that she paired fins, whose function is similar with the functions of the bones of the human hand.
Coelacanths have 2 pairs of gills, with Gill lockers have the form of barbed plates, fabric which has the similar structure with the tissue of human teeth. The head has an additional protective elements, and the Gill cover have the extension at the end. The lower jaw consists of 2 spongy overlapping of the plates. Teeth have a conical shape and are located on bony plates formed in a region of the sky.
Scales are large and tight to the body and its tissues resemble the structure of the human tooth. Swim bladder features an elongated form and filled with fat. In the intestine is a spiral valve. Interestingly, in the adult brain size is only 1% of the total volume of the cranial space. In this case the remaining volume is filled with a fatty mass in the form of a gel. More interestingly, in young individuals, this volume is 100% filled with the brain.
As a rule, the body of latimeria is painted in dark blue color with a metallic sheen, with the head and the fish body is covered with sparse patches of white or pale blue. Each instance is distinguished by its unique pattern, so the fish are markedly different from one another and they are easy to count. Dead fish loses its natural color and becomes dark brown or almost black color. Among Alicanto pronounced sexual dimorphism, which is in size of specimens: females much larger than males.
Day coelacanths are in the shelter, forming a small group, numbering a little more than a dozen individuals. Prefer to be at a depth as close as possible to the bottom. Are nocturnal. While at depth, this kind of learned how to save energy, and the predators here are quite rare. After dark, individuals leave their hiding places and go in search of food. However, their actions are rather slow, but they are no more than 3 meters from the bottom. In search of food Alacanti float long distances until you again the day will come.
It is interesting to know! Drifting in the water column, the coelacanth provides a minimum of movement of his body, trying to preserve as much energy. However, it can use underwater currents, including the work of the fins only to regulate their body.
The coelacanth has a unique structure of the fins, making it able to hang in the water column, while in any position, either head down, or up. According to some experts, the coelacanth can even walk along the bottom, but it is not so. Even while in hiding (in a cave), fish not for their fins the bottom. If the coelacanth in danger, that the fish are capable of making a rapid leap forward, due to the motion of the caudal fin, which it quite powerful.
How long does the coelacanth
It is believed that coelacanths are real long-lived and can live up to 80 years, although these data in no way confirmed. Many experts believe that this contributes to the measured life of fish at depth, the fish is able to economize their strength, to escape from predators, while under optimum temperature conditions.
Alacanti is the name that is used for identifying the two species such as the coelacanth and the Indonesian coelacanth komoranska. It is the only living species that has survived to the present day. It is believed that they are the living representatives of a large family, consisting of 120 species, which is witnessed on the pages of some of the Chronicles.
This species is also known as “living fossil” and it lives in the Western Pacific ocean, bordering the Indian ocean and within the Great Comoro and Anjouan Islands and within the southern African coast, Mozambique and Madagascar.
To explore the population took several decades. After the capture of one instance in 1938, he was considered for the last sixty years the only specimen representing this species.
Interesting fact! At the time there was the African programme project “Coelacanth”. In 2003, IMS decided to combine their efforts with this project to organize further searches of the representatives of this ancient form. Soon efforts have borne results and 6 September 2003 in the South of Tanzania at Songo Mnara was caught by another instance. After that, Tanzania has become the sixth country, which was discovered Alacanti.
In 2007, 14 July, fishermen in Northern Zanzibar have caught a few individuals more. Specialists IMS, Institute of marine Sciences of Zanzibar, immediately went with Dr. Nariman Jiddawi on the scene, where they identified the fish as a “Latimeria chalumnae”.
As a result of observations found that the fish attacks its prey, if she is in range. For this she uses her quite powerful jaws. Analyzed the stomach contents of individuals caught. The results showed that the fish also feeds on living organisms she finds in soil at the bottom of the sea or ocean. The observations, also found that the Rostral organ has electroreceptive function. Due to this, fish distinguishes between the objects in the water column by the presence of their electric field.
Reproduction and offspring
Due to the fact that the fish are at a great depth, it is little known, but clearly quite another coelacanths belong to the viviparous fish. More recently, it was thought that they lay eggs like many other fish, but fertilized by the male. When caught females, they found eggs, which were the size of a tennis ball.
Interesting information! One female is able to reproduce the light, depending on the age, 8 to 26 live fry, whose size is about 37 cm When they are born, they have already formed teeth, fins and scales.
After birth, every kid in the neck can detect a large, but flaccid yolk SAC, which served as a source of food for them during the period of gestation. In the process of development when the yolk SAC reserves are depleted, it is likely compressed and lies in the body cavity.
The female carries her offspring for 13 months. In this regard, it can be assumed that females can become pregnant no earlier than on the second or third year after the next pregnancy.
Natural enemies coelacanths
The most common enemies coelacanths are considered to be sharks.
Unfortunately, the coelacanth fish is of no commercial value because its meat is not. Despite this, the fish are caught in large numbers, to the grave detriment of its population. Basically its catch in order to attract tourists by creating unique stuffed animals for private collections. At the moment this fish brought in the Red Book, and forbidden to trade on the world market in any form.
In turn, the local fishermen of the island of Great Comoro voluntarily refused to continue to catch Alicanto that live in coastal waters. This will save the unique fauna of coastal waters. They usually fish in areas waters unsuitable for life, coelacanths, and in the case of capture of individuals return to permanent natural habitat. Therefore, in recent years there has been an encouraging trend as the population of the Comoros supports the preservation of the population of this unique fish. The fact that the coelacanth is of great value to science. Due to the presence of this fish, scientists are trying to reconstruct the world that existed several hundred million years ago, although it’s not easy. So Alacanti today are valuable species for science.
Population and species status
Oddly enough, although the fish and of no value as an object of sustenance, it is on the verge of extinction and therefore is listed in the Red Book. The coelacanth is listed in the IUCN Red list as a species under critical threat. In accordance with the international Treaty CITES, latimeria has the status of a species under threat of extinction.
As mentioned above, the species studied have not fully and to date there is no complete picture for determining the population of coelacanths. This is due to the fact that this species prefers to dwell at a considerable depth in the daytime is in the shelter and in the dark anything to study is not easy. According to experts, in the 90-ies of the last century it was possible to observe a sharp decline within the Comoros. The sharp decrease was due to the fact that the coelacanth is often caught in the fishermen’s nets, who were engaged in deep fishing other species of fish. This is especially true when the network caught females that are in the process of bearing offspring.
We can safely say that the coelacanth is a unique fish species that appeared on the planet 300 million years ago. When the mind has managed to survive until our days, but some 100 years (coelacanths) will survive is not so simple. The last time the person has given little thought on how to save this or that species of fish. It’s hard to imagine that the coelacanth, which is not used for food, suffering from rash action person. The task of humanity is to stop and finally think about the consequences, or they can be very disappointing. After the objects disappear, the food will disappear and humanity. Here you do not need any nuclear warheads or other natural disasters.