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Any of various mostly extinct lobe-finned fishes of the group Coelacanthiformes or Actinistia, known only in fossil form until a living species, Latimeria chalumnae, was identified in 1938. A second Latimeria species was described in 1999.
[New Latin Coelacanthus, former genus name : Greek koilos, hollow; see -coel + Greek akantha, spine (in reference to the hollow spines of the fins).]
coe′la·can′thine′ (-kăn′thīn′, -thĭn) adj.
coe′la·can′thous (-thəs) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Animals) a primitive marine bony fish of the genus Latimeria (subclass Crossopterygii), having fleshy limblike pectoral fins and occurring off the coast of E Africa: thought to be extinct until a living specimen was discovered in 1938
[C19: from New Latin coelacanthus, literally: hollow spine, from coel- + Greek akanthos spine]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
a heavy, hollow-spined fish, Latimeria chalumnae, of deep S African coastal seas, that crawls on the sea bottom with lobed, limblike fins: a living fossil of the order Crossopterygii, considered forerunners of the land vertebrates.
[1860–65; < New Latin Coelacanthus orig. a genus name =coel- coel- + Greek -akanthos -spined, adj. derivative of ákantha spine, thorn]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Any of various fish having lobed, fleshy fins. They are the only living varieties of an ancient order of lobe-finned fish. Coelacanths were thought to be extinct until a living species was discovered in 1938.
The American Heritage® Student Science Dictionary, Second Edition. Copyright © 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||coelacanth - fish thought to have been extinct since the Cretaceous period but found in 1938 off the coast of Africa|
crossopterygian, lobefin, lobe-finned fish - any fish of the order Crossopterygii; most known only in fossil form
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