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Coelacanth Fish, NMNH

August 20, 1957

On August 20, 1957, a coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae Smitha, or living fossil fish, is put on exhibit in the foyer of United States National Museum, now known as the National Museum of Natural History. This male fish was caught off the Comoro Islands, near the Island of Madagascar. It was believed that the coelacanth was extinct until 1938 when the first live one was caught off South Africa. Before that time the fish was only known from ancient fossil remains.

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