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Re: Re: Re: Re: Reply to Gilgamesh



>Agreed, However the coelocanth didnt evolve into anything else
>either, even after 70  mya.  It was a still
>a fish, albeit an ugly one, when it was discovered. Wasn't it?
>So maybe the amphibian ancestor lies somewhere else. 

Ah, NOW I see where you're coming from...

No, of course, the coelocanths as a group were not evolving into anything
other than other coelocanths.  (BTW, Latimeria is not exactly an example of
an unchanged living fossil - it is a distinct genus of coelocanths with, as
far as I recall, no fossil specimens known.  Also, it is a deep marine
animal, not a fresh- or brackish water fish like most known fossil
coelocanths.)

However, coelocanths do show many shared derived characters found elsewhere
only in tetrapods and/or lungfish among living vertebrates.  So, it is not
simply "still a fish", but is the only living representative of a group of
fish which included the ancestors of the tetrapods.  It has thus proved must
informative to studies of tetrapod origins.

Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Vertebrate Paleontologist
Dept. of Geology
University of Maryland
Colege Park, MD  20742
Email:Thomas_R_HOLTZ@umail.umd.edu (th81)
Fax: 301-314-9661
Phone:301-405-4084