Fishermen in Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean, discovered a hitherto unknown habitat for the Colacanth, which was considered extinct until 1938. This species, which is rarely found, has a prehistoric origin dating back 420 million years, according to the Daily Mail. .
Fishermen said they came across so-called “fossil fish” when throwing nets to catch sharks. Being able to weigh up to 90 kilograms, the species has only been seen a handful of times in recent years in places like South Africa, Tanzania and Indonesia, as explained by Mongabay News.
Since they live in a deep area, 100 to 500 meters below the surface, only the highest input networks are capable of capturing the hollow. With the growth of hunting and hunting for shark fins, especially in the 1980s, the fish population has decreased dramatically.
“The emergence of deep gill nets, or griffins, to catch sharks, driven by demand for shark fins and oil from China in the mid-1980s, led to an explosion in coelacanth fishing in Madagascar and other countries in the world.” Says a study published in the South African Science Journal Indian Ocean”.
Andrew Cook, the lead author of the survey, said Madagascar is the new “epicenter” of coelacanths, and it is possible that more than 100 animals have been hunted in the area over the past 30 years. Since the sudden disappearance caused by the massive hunting of sharks, specimens were thought to have vanished from the country, but the recent discovery points in another direction.
“The presence of coelacanth groups in the western Indian Ocean in Madagascar is not surprising, given the wide range of habitats provided by the ancient island.”
Detecting the species in the area is important because it can help establish a research and conservation program for animals that have for years been considered extinct.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a colacanth can reach nearly 2 meters in length and have curious point scales. Another special feature is that these fish have four fins, which earned them the nickname “the four-legged fish”.