Environment and Evolution: Environment and Evolution: Animal People: News:

55살에 번식 시작하는 이 ‘살아있는 화석’, 몇살까지 살길래

[애니멀피플]Koilakanth lives in an underwater cave
Life expectancy is about 100 years slower and longer
The fetus is born after 5 years of development in the womb

Koilakants are nocturnal hunters who live in underwater caves and come to the surface to hunt at night. This has become the slowest life cycle of any fish. Bruce Henderson, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

A study has revealed that the coyote, an ancient fish that lives in underwater caves with a unique movement of eight thick wings, can live up to 100 years, much longer than previously known. In addition, it was found that the gestational age of the fetus reaches five years and reproduction does not begin until the age of 55 years. Koylakanth reveals that it is a fish with a slow life cycle, so it is vulnerable to extinction due to baikach and climate change.

Koilakanth wings and scales.  The scales have a ring pattern that can be used to calculate their age.  Attribution Laurent Ballet

Koilakanth wings and scales. The scales have a ring pattern that can be used to calculate their age. Attribution Laurent Ballet

Kelling Mahe and others, researchers at the Institute for Ocean Development (IFREMER) in France, analyzed the remaining tree rings on the scales of the coyote. The cycle is considered new in a paper published in the scientific journal Current Biology on the 18th. The researchers analyzed the scales of 27 kohlrabi specimens, including one calf and two fetuses, from the National Museum of Natural History in France. So far, the lifespan of Koyilakanth is estimated to be around 20 years. However, because it grows to 2 meters in length and weighs 105 kilograms, the researchers thought that the coyote was underestimating its age. When scales were scrutinized with a polarized microscope instead of the traditional research method transmission microscope, a new, denser ring was detected that was not visible within the pattern known as the ring. As a result of the analysis of the annual formation method, it was confirmed that the newly discovered ring was an original ring.

The researchers explained, “If the lifespan is 20 years, the coyote is the fastest growing fish. In fact, this fish has the characteristics of a slow-growing deep-sea fish with a slow metabolism and low reproduction rate.” “These analyzes show that coyotes live five times longer than they already know,” in other words, they can live close to a century. When the new analysis results are applied, the age at which coyotes mature and first reproduce is 40-69 years for men and 58-66 years for women. The fetus was found to have been born after growing in the mother’s womb for five years.

Coelacanths are endoviparous, hatching from an egg in the uterus at 5 years of age and giving birth when they reach 35 cm in length.  Attribution National Museum of Natural History, France

Coelacanths are endoviparous, hatching from an egg in the uterus at 5 years of age and giving birth when they reach 35 cm in length. Attribution National Museum of Natural History, France

“Koilakanth is one of the slowest saltwater fish, and it looks like a deep-sea shark,” Mahe said. Sharks that live in deep or cold water are known for their slow and long life (Greenland shark, the longest living vertebrate, matures between 150 and 400 years). The results of this study have significant implications for the conservation of Koilakanth. “Animals with longer lifespans, slower life cycles, and lower fertility rates are known to be more susceptible to natural and ethnic environmental changes,” Mahe said. “These findings suggest that coyotes are more endangered than known.

Koilakanth is a fish known as the ‘Living Fossil’, which lived 420 million years ago. Both species are very rare, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies Sulawesi species as vulnerable because the status of African species is critical. Quoted papers: Current Biology, DOI: 10.1016 / j.cub.2021.05.054 Correspondent Joe Hong-Siop ecothink@hani.co.kr

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