New home for "old fourlegs": The
discovery of an Indonesian population of living coelacanths
Mark V. Erdmann, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley
Wednesday, June 9, 1999
3:00 p.m.Pacific Forum
During the period of September 1997 through July 1998, two living coelacanth fishes (Sarcopterygii,
Coelacanthini) were captured off the island of Manado Tua, North
10,000 km from their only previously known home in the western Indian Ocean.
A narrative of the events surrounding the initial discovery and the subsequent 10-month
search for a second specimen is presented. A brief review of the known ecology of the
Comoran coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae is provided as background information,
followed by a summary of current and planned future research on the Indonesian
coelacanth's ecology and conservation statusincluding habitat, population size in
North Sulawesi, geographic distribution within Indonesia, and threats from traditional
fisheries. Additionally, recent results of mitochondrial DNA analyses, which suggest that
the Sulawesi population has been genetically isolated from the western Indian Ocean
population(s) for millions of years, are discussed with regard to the biogeographical
implications of this finding. Finally, a summary of the recent conservation measures taken
to protect the Indonesian population(s) is presented.
increase of bioavailable Fe in the ocean
Last updated: December 19, 2000