News of the WeekZOOLOGY

Dispute Over a Legendary Fish

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Science  02 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5411, pp. 22-23
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5411.22b

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Sixty years ago a coelacanth--a species believed to have gone extinct 80 million years ago--turned up off South Africa. No one thought the living fossil survived anywhere else in the world until last year when a biologist found one 10,000 kilometers away, in Indonesia. Now it turns out that the find may be a second coelacanth species. But the report, in the April issue of Comptes Rendus de L'Académie des Sciences, is controversial because it comes not from the coelacanth's discoverer but from a geneticist who was asked by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences to do an analysis.