coe·​la·​canth | \ ˈsē-lə-ˌkan(t)th How to pronounce coelacanth (audio) \

Definition of coelacanth

: any of an order (Coelacanthiformes) of lobe-finned fishes known chiefly from Paleozoic and Mesozoic fossils

Illustration of coelacanth

Illustration of coelacanth

Examples of coelacanth in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The coelacanth — a giant weird fish still around from dinosaur times — can live for 100 years, a new study found. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 The polarized light microscope revealed five times more rings in the coelacanth’s scales than anyone had seen before. Max G. Levy, Wired, 23 June 2021 In the past, scientists calculated fish ages by counting big lines on a specific coelacanth scale. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, 17 June 2021 However, a recent study published in the SA Journal of Science revealed that as of May 2020 as many as 334 coelacanth captures had been documented. Julia Musto, Fox News, 22 May 2021 But how much of an impact these accidental catches are having on the overall population of either coelacanth species is completely unknown. Mike Wehner, BGR, 21 May 2021 Including, but certainly not limited to, exhibitions dedicated to Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, the museum also focuses on those cryptids that were eventually proven real, like the coelacanth. Kaye Toal, Travel + Leisure, 25 Feb. 2021 The coelacanth, for example, is probably four or even five times [larger] than today's coelacanth. Fox News, 28 Apr. 2020 Long thought to have gone extinct alongside the dinosaurs, the coelacanth’s rediscovery in 1938 is considered one of that century’s greatest zoological findings. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, 8 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coelacanth.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coelacanth

1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for coelacanth

ultimately from Greek koilos hollow + akantha spine — more at cave

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The first known use of coelacanth was in 1857

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Cite this Entry

“Coelacanth.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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