Which fish in the ocean ages the slowest. Scientists have found that coelacanths live up to 100 years

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Which fish in the ocean ages the slowest. Scientists have found that coelacanths live up to 100 years

Kenya Museum staff showing coelacanth caught in 2001

French scientists have found that the lifespan of African coelacanths – fossil fish that have not changed for hundreds of millions of years – can be up to 100 years. It was previously believed that such fish live for about 20 years.

This means that coelacanths are among the marine centenarians – along with bowhead sharks (they can live for about 500 years), whales (about 200 years old), Amur carps (about 200 years old), sea bass (about 200 years old) and lake sturgeons ( life expectancy up to 150 years).

A group of researchers who published the results of their work in the scientific journal Current Biology found out the real age of coelacanth by studying scales on museum exhibits. By approximately the same principle, you can determine when a particular tree began to grow, if you count the rings on its trunk.

The long lifespan means that all the main stages of the coelacanth life path come extremely slowly. Scientists believe that these fish only reach adulthood by the age of 40. Moreover, their gestation period is about five years.

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This pace makes them particularly vulnerable to various harmful events, such as climate change or overfishing.

Dr. Bruno Hernande of Montpellier University in France told the BBC that re-estimating the age of coelacanths will help scientists better understand the principles of protecting and preserving their populations.

“When conserving, it is very important to know the demographic indicators of a particular species,” says the scientist. “With this new information, we can better assess them.”

Fish that survived the dinosaurs

For a long time it was believed that the coelacanth was completely extinct, but in 1938 one such fish fell into fishing nets near South Africa.

Later it turned out that there are two populations of coelacanths: one off the east coast of Africa, the other near the Indonesian island of Sulawesi.

Which fish in the ocean ages the slowest. Scientists have found that coelacanths live up to 100 years

Coelacanth is found in the Indian Ocean

At the same time, African coelacanths are on the verge of extinction – it is assumed that only a few hundred of these fish remain in nature.

“The coelacanth is probably one of the slowest, if not the slowest, among marine fish. It is close to deep-sea sharks and bigheads,” says Kelig Mahe of a research center in Bologne-sur-Mer, France.

“Our study shows that they are likely to be even more threatened than previously thought, and this is due precisely to the pace of life. Therefore, this new data on the biology of coelacanths will become very important for maintaining their life and conservation,” adds the scientist …

The authors of the work hope to continue studies of coelacanth scales in order to find out how the rate of their growth is related to the temperature of the water. This data will provide insight into how threatened fish could be affected by climate change.

Latimeria formed 420 million years ago. This means that they survived continental drift and the fall of a large asteroid to Earth, which is believed to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

They live in caves at the bottom of the ocean, the size of such fish can reach 1.8 meters, and weigh more than 90 kg.

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