11 December 2007

Coelacanths are everywhere

...and that's a good thing.

So, I was going to write a blog entry all about the coelacanth-based Pokémon, Relicanth. But when researching the coelacanth, I realized they show up a lot of places in the media (or at least in cartoon form).

Coelacanths first appear in the fossil record about 410 million years ago, however no fossils of coelacanth species were found after the end of the Cretaceous period (about 65 million years ago). So, scientists thought the coelacanth was extinct. That was until 1938 when the coelacanth was first rediscovered in a fishing haul off the coast of Africa (and is now often called a living fossil). Unknown to me, until I started writing this entry, there are actually two species of coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae found along the western edge of the Indian ocean and L. menadoensis which live in Indonesia (the species was only named in 1999).

Keep reading for more instances of cartoon coelacanths...

I've covered Pokémon, but a similar game Digimon also has a coelacanth-monster, Coelamon. Coelamon has attacks called fossil bite and ancient bite.

There are several video games that feature coelacaths. One of which is Nintendo's Animal Crossing which allows you to catch them while fishing (Dinofish.com has a video of this you can watch here). Dinofish also has an extensive list of other coelacanth sightings in the media (under the conservation tab) as does the wikipedia article if you feel like exploring further.

Thus concludes our tour of pop culture coelacanth sightings. I hope you had fun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This allowed for a mildly humorous and still very appropriate side-track from my evolutionary biology revision. Thank you! I knew I recognised the name from somewhere, it seems Nintendo have been pointing me towards pursuing a career in paleontology since childhood! Blast!