The Coelacanth (pronounced SEE-luh-kanth) is an enormous, bottom-dwelling fish that is unlike other living fishes in a number of ways. They belong to an ancient lineage that has been around for more than 360 million years. Coelacanths can reach more than six feet long and weigh about 200 pounds, and they're covered in thick, scaly armor. It's estimated they can live up to 60 years or more.
There are two living species of Coelacanth, and both are rare. The West Indian Ocean coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) lives off the east coast of Africa, while the Indonesian coelacanth (Latimeria menadoensis) is found in the waters off Sulawesi, Indonesia. They are the sole remaining representatives of a once widespread family of lobe-finned fishes; more than 120 species are known from the fossil record.
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