Previously, researchers calculated the age of the fish by calculating the outlines on a certain scale from the coelacanth. But the French researchers found they missed smaller lines that can only be seen using polarized light – the same technique used to determine the age of commercial fish species.
The polarized light revealed five smaller streaks for each main streak, said study co-author Bruno Ernandi, a marine evolutionary ecologist at IFREMER. The researchers concluded that the smaller stripes more closely corresponded to a year in the life of the coelacanth, and their study found that the oldest specimen was 84 years old.
Previous studies suggested a maximum lifespan of about 20 years, which also means that coelacanths grew the fastest of all fish species. That would be odd for deep sea fish, as they are usually slow metabolizers and slow growing.
“After reviewing the coelacanth’s lifeline based on our new age estimates, it appears to be among the slowest, if not the slowest, fish farmers in the world, much like deep-sea sharks and saw-bellied fish,” Ernanda said. Thing”.
The Greenland shark, a large, deep-sea predatory fish, can claim the honor of being the longest-living vertebrate on Earth, with a life expectancy of 400 years. Saw-bellied fish – mollusks or slime in English – are a family of small deep-sea fish, which live exceptionally long.
Coelacanths mature as slowly as other deep-sea fish such as sharks and rays, Ernandi said, although they are not genetically related and show significant evolutionary differences. “They may have developed a similar life path because they share similar dwellings,” he said.