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Coelacantus

One morning of february 2009, a small piroque beached at Mangily, right in front of the dive centre. The old man who got off was offering us a big fish he had caught, he said, off Fiherenamasay, a village north of Manombo. I had already bought some fish so I refused but the astonishment of the boatmen, who didn't know this fish, led me to have a look on it. A kind of a primary grouper, with already decomposing flesh. After two minutes of perplexity, we understood that it could be the famous coelacanthus, the resurrected fossil fish, the most famous Lazarus taxon. We knew that at least two coelacanthus had been fished out in the bay of Saint-Augustin, south of Toliara. Here are some pictures we have shot that day. Later, eminent scientists blamed us for not having measured and weighed it, and determined its gender, for not having done what they would have done. Yes, true, we hadn't realized the importance of it. We do regret it. We advised the fisherman to take the coelacanthe to Ifaty, to the Reef doctor NGO where marine biologists were working. We haven't heard any more of it.
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