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The coelacanth (pronounced SEE-la-canth) is a primitive lobe-finned fish (Crossopterygii) that appeared about 380 million years ago (about 150 million years before the dinosaurs appeared). The coelacanth was thought to have been extinct for millions of years, but a living coelacanth was caught in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar, off South Africa, in 1938 (and others have been caught since then). Because of this, people often refer to the coelacanth as a "living fossil." Although the fishermen of Madagascar had known about this fish for years, scientists had no knowledge of it.
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