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Two-decade study unlocks secrets of “living fossil” fish. Not only is the coelacanth one of the world’s oldest fish species, but the individual fish may also be long-lived.

(From National Geographic / by Matt Kaplan) — A new study suggests the ancient fish can live up to a hundred years and even longer.

A coelacanth near South Africa's Sodwana Bay (file picture). Photograph by Laurent Ballesta, National Geographic

Until 1938, when a coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-kanth) was found off Africa’s coast, scientists had believed the fish went extinct 65 million years ago with a related lineage of prehistoric fishes.

After the coelacanth’s rediscovery, a number of populations were uncovered in parts of the western Indian Ocean and in the western Pacific Ocean. Whether these populations were interconnected was a mystery. Read the full article