Skip to main content

Trunk-snouted fish joins 'living fossils'

A prehistoric fish that inhabits the waters off southern Australia and New Zealand evolves even slower than the coelacanth, a famous "living fossil" whose DNA has barely changed over hundreds of millions of years, scientists say.

The genome of the elephant shark “is evolving significantly slower than other vertebrates, including the coelacanth”, they reported in the journal Nature on Jan. 8.

Known by its Latin name as Callorhinchus milii, the elephant shark gets its monicker from a trunk-like snout with which it rummages for crustaceans on the ocean floor at depths of around 650 feet.

Despite its name, the creature is not a shark.

Click here for the full report by The Australian.