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It is no secret that the ocean is home to some of the most fascinating creatures in the world. From whales to sharks, there is no shortage of marine animals that capture our attention. But did you know that there is a fish that has been around since the time of the dinosaurs? This fish is known as the coelacanth or ikan purba in Indonesian, and it is one of the most interesting creatures in the ocean.

What is the Coelacanth?

The coelacanth is a large fish that can grow up to six feet in length. It has a distinctive appearance with its dark blue scales and four fins that resemble legs. This fish is often referred to as a "living fossil" because it has been around for over 400 million years, making it one of the oldest living species in the world.

The coelacanth is found in deep ocean waters around the world, and it is a rare find for scientists and fishermen alike. In fact, the coelacanth was thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1938 off the coast of South Africa.

How Does the Coelacanth Survive?

One of the most interesting things about the coelacanth is the way it has managed to survive for so long. This fish has a number of unique adaptations that have allowed it to thrive in the deep ocean. For example, the coelacanth has a unique organ in its head called a rostral organ that is thought to be used for sensing electric fields.

The coelacanth also has a specialized swim bladder that allows it to control its buoyancy at different depths. This is important because the coelacanth is a slow-moving fish that needs to conserve energy in order to survive in the deep ocean.

Another interesting adaptation of the coelacanth is its ability to give birth to live young. Most fish lay eggs, but the coelacanth gives birth to fully formed offspring. This is thought to be an adaptation to the low oxygen levels in the deep ocean, which can make it difficult for eggs to develop properly.

Why is the Coelacanth Important?

The coelacanth is an important species for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it is a living example of a time long gone. The coelacanth has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, and studying it can give us important insights into the evolution of life on Earth.

Additionally, the coelacanth is an important indicator species for the health of the deep ocean. Because the coelacanth is so rare and only found in certain areas, its presence or absence can tell us a lot about the state of the ocean's ecosystems.

Finally, the coelacanth is an important cultural symbol. In Indonesia, the coelacanth is known as ikan purba, which means "ancient fish." It has long been a source of inspiration for artists and poets, and is a beloved part of Indonesian culture.


The coelacanth is a truly remarkable creature. Its longevity and unique adaptations have allowed it to survive for millions of years, and studying it can give us important insights into the history and evolution of life on Earth. As we continue to explore and study the ocean, it is important that we work to protect the coelacanth and other important species that call the deep ocean home.

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