Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various mostly extinct fishes of the order Coelacanthiformes, known only in fossil form until a single living species, Latimeria chalumnae of African marine waters, was identified in 1938.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Either of two species of deep-water fish, Latimeria chalumnae of the Indian Ocean and L. menadoensis of Indonesia.
  • n. Any lobe-finned fish in the order Coelacanthiformes, thought until 1938 to have been extinct for 70 million years.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fish thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period but found in 1938 off the coast of Africa

Etymologies

New Latin Coelacanthus, former genus name : Greek koilos, hollow; see -coel + Greek akantha, spine.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek κοῖλος (koilos, "hollow") + ἄκανθα (akantha, "spine"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Speaking of very confused, the coelacanth is a ‘living fossil’ in the sense that the two known contemporary species belong to a very old subclass, previously thought to be extinct.

    Steve Steve Down Under - The Panda's Thumb

  • The coelacanth is a large predatory fish that lives in deep water mainly in the Indian ocea, although specimens have recently been found off Indonesia.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Someone went digging in the Company archives and discovered that the coelacanth was a Dr. Zeus special.

    In the Garden of Iden

  • The coelacanth was a five-foot-long fish thought to have died out sixty-five million years ago, until a specimen was pulled from the ocean in 1938.

    Jurassic Park

  • A research team from Indonesia's Sam Ratulangi University, Indonesian Science Institution and Fukushima Aquamarine Japan on Monday once again found prehistoric fish called coelacanth at Talise waters of North Minahasa in 155 meter-depth.

    UnderwaterTimes.com News of the Underwater World

  • Tiktaalik, Menton said, is not unique in having these bones because other lobe-fish, such as "coelacanth" fish, also have them.

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • For years, the coelacanth which is found in fossil layers allegedly 70 million or more years old was believed to be an extinct transitional form, one of the “proofs” of evolution because of its fleshy, lobed fins.

    Gogonasus andrewsae - The Panda's Thumb

  • It’s identified as a coelacanth, a fish long thought to be extinct.

    December 2008

  • It’s identified as a coelacanth, a fish thought to be long extinct.

    December 2007

  • I had these books and the coelacanth was their big find and they were like 'Whoa, it exists,'"he said after the match.

    poststar.com RSS

Comments

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  • a 'link' to ancient fish

    October 23, 2010

  • I used to catch a kind of bowfin that was called a dogfish when I lived in Minnesota. They always reminded me of coelacanths. Bowfins are an order (Amiiformes) of primitive ray-finned fish. Only one species, the bowfin Amia calva, family Amiidae, exists today, although additional species in six families are known from Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene fossils.

    February 4, 2008