National Geographic : 2011 Mar
Lobed fins Also found in lung- fishes, the fleshy fins can swivel to allow coelacanths to maneuver precisely. Notochord This tough, elastic tube, which is par- tially hollow and filled with fluid, acts as a spine for the coelacanth. Live litter of pups Coelacanths give birth to a litter of up to 26 live and fully developed "pups." Gestation is likely a year or more. Rostral organ The sensory organ perceives electrical impulses in water, probably to help locate prey in dark depths. ART: RAÚL MARTÍN. FOSSIL PHOTO: COLIN KEATES, DK LIMITED/CORBIS Ancient Anatomy Named by a 19th-century naturalist, from the Greek for "hollow spine"---a nod to the hollow spines that are part of its fin struc- ture---the prehistoric- looking coelacanth can grow to about six feet and nearly 200 pounds.