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The 8 Oldest Animal Species on Earth

By Steven Romano Nov 21, 2013

4 of 9

Tim Evanson/Wikimedia Commons

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Coelacanth

Declared extinct up until their discovery off South Africa’s coast in 1938, the coelacanth is the ultimate time traveler, having changed in the slightest since the Devonian Period. Coelacanths are one of the few living fish belonging to the class Sarcopterygii (or lobe-finned fish for simplicity’s sake). The classification derives from the fact that their fins are a part of a fleshy extension—the forebear to legs. That makes coelacanths a relative of all land-based animals (humans included)!

Tags: animals, science, jellyfish, slideshows, lizards, earth

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About the Author
Steven Romano

Like Captain America, Steven Romano is just a boy from Brooklyn. When he isn't contributing to The MindHut and other geeky websites, Steven's hard at work writing his first novel and comic book scripts. Follow him on Twitter @Steven_Romano, and swing by his blog: stevenromano.tumblr.com

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.