Coelacanth is not closest fishy relative of terrestrial animals | Science News

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Coelacanth is not closest fishy relative of terrestrial animals

Genes of “living fossil” do reveal changes needed to live on dry land

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1:06pm, April 17, 2013

Lungs, not limbs, propelled the aquatic ancestor of land animals out of the ocean, according to a new analysis of the genome of the coelacanth, an ancient species of fish with limblike fins. Scientists have debated whether fish with lungs, such as lungfish, or fish like coelacanths were the so-called “fish that first crawled onto land.”

Coelacanths, Latimeria chalumnae and Latimeria menadoensis, are often called living fossils because of their resemblance to specimens dating back 300 million years. But the fish’s DNA isn’t a relic stuck in the past. It is still evolving, just more slowly than th

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