In a rare discovery, scientists have found a coelacanth, which is a huge weird-looking fish belonging to the dinosaur era. According to a study, these fish can live for over 100 years and remain pregnant for five! Nicknamed as a living-fossil, these human-sized, slow-moving nocturnal fish grow at a super slow pace.
Study says that the female fish hit sexual maturity in their late 50s and male coelacanths get sexually mature between 40 and 69 years of age. Another strange thing that researchers found was that pregnancy in the fish lasts about five years.
After being in existence for more than 400 million years, people long believed coelacanths have become extinct. But, in 1938, the giant fish was seen off South Africa. For a long time, scientists believed that these strange-looking fish could only live up to 20 years. After applying standard dating techniques and conducting further research, French scientists discovered that these fish can live for a 100 year!
Using the same technique, scientists also studied two embryos and calculated the age of the largest embryo five years. Bruno Ernande, a marine evolutionary ecologist at France’s marine research institute, said that’s how they figured pregnancy lasts nearly five years in coelacanths, which have live births.
These fish age quite slowly just like any other deep dwellers like sharks and rays. Ernande further said, “They might have evolved similar life histories because they are sharing similar type habitats”.
Coelacanths are endangered to the level that scientists only have dead specimens to study.