May 28, 2024

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Deep ocean photographer who captured a ‘living fossil’

Deep ocean photographer who captured a ‘living fossil’

In 2010, four friends get pregnant 32 kg (71 lb) worth Photography equipment, which sank under the waves of Sodwana Bay, off the east coast of South Africa. That time, photographer Laurent Ballesta stared directly into the eyes of a creature thought to have gone extinct with the dinosaurs — and The first ever photo of a live coelacanth has been taken.

“It’s not just a fish that we thought was extinct,” Ballista says. “It is a masterpiece in the history of development.”

Go back to the beginning of the dinosaur era, and you will find… Coelacanth In abundance, On every continentliving in steamy swamps in the Triassic. It dates back to 410 million years agoThe coelacanth belongs to the group of lobe-finned fish that left the ocean About 390 to 360 million years ago. Its powerful, fleshy fins were a precursor to Paired limbs of tetrapodswhich includes all vertebrates that live on land – amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and yes, Humans also. In fact, coelacanths are Most closely related to tetrapods than any other known species of fish.

The smallest known coelacanth fossil is 66 million yearsWhich leads to the assumption that these animals Extinct for a long time. Then, in 1938, a fish with It has iridescent blue-green scales and four fin-like limbsHe was caught in a fishing net off the coast of South Africa. This coelacanth was named A Living fossil. despite of, Experts say this nickname is inaccurate Coelacanths have actually evolved, though Very slowly. For one thing, this fish is not elusive It lives longer on the edges of the Earth, but in the depths of the ocean.

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“Every time they were caught, it was too deep, too deep for normal diving techniques at the time,” Ballista says. “So, it was just a fantasy in my mind.” But, in 2000, Ballista heard about a diver named Peter Tim. “During a deep dive, Tim found a coelacanth in a cave at just 120 meters (393 feet).” [depth]“So, in 2010, after extensive training in deep diving, with the help of… Newly available Rebreathing Diving technology—which would allow him to stay underwater for longer than was previously possible—Ballista recruited Tim to be his mentor.

Coelacanths live in the benthic zone – On the sea floor – at a depth of 300 meters (984 ft) along steep underwater cliffs and shelves. During the day they meet In underwater cavesThey only appear to feed during the night. It was in such caves that Ballista met the first coelacanth.