Still Adapting: Genetic Diversity of ‘Living Fossil’ Coelacanths
The morphology of coelacanths has not fundamentally changed since the Devonian age, that is, for about 400 million years. Nevertheless, these animals known as living fossils are able to genetically adapt to their environment.
This is described by Dr. Kathrin Lampert from the RUB’s Department of Animal Ecology, Evolution and Biodiversity along with colleagues from Würzburg, Bremen, Kiel and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) in the journal Current Biology. “Coelacanths are rare and extremely endangered. Understanding the genetic diversity of these animals could help make preservation schemes against their extinction more effective” says the biologist.