I remember being taught in school that it was a “missing link” between fish and Coelacanth Fish Evolution Extinct Palaeontology Shirt and that it could climb up onto land using it’s lobe-fins and scurry about like a salamander. All wrong. Well, mostly wrong. It is representative of an ancestor of tetrapods, but it’s not the one that made landfall. Of course, they were working with what they had at the time. Back then it was all dynamite and side-shows and who had the bigger dinosaur.
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These days it’s energy dispersive Coelacanth Fish Evolution Extinct Palaeontology Shirt and synchrotronic microtomography and non-destructive 3D imaging. Damn kids with your respect for our natural heritage. The concept of a living species being a “missing link” between other living species doesn’t really make sense. But some living species can physically resemble transitional phases between one familiar form and another and can give us a clue about how its ancestors lived. Modern coelacanths didn’t evolve into tetrapods, but the ancestor of tetrapods probably resembled a coelacanth.
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Nah, mankind tends to keep Coelacanth Fish Evolution Extinct Palaeontology Shirt tasting animals at healthy population numbers. Now, if you’re an animal with a horn or tusks that cures cancer or erectile dysfunction, then extinction is a very real possibility. We keep good tasting land animals in healthy numbers. With fish, we can’t see their numbers as easily so we act surprised when the nets stop pulling them up. The coelacanth is often cited by followers of cryptozoology when dealing with skeptics about the existence of Sasquatch