This Day in History: 1938-12-22

The discovery of the first living specimen of Coelacanth. A species previously known only from the fossil record, thought at the time to have been extinct for over 65 million years, was discovered by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, curator of the East London Museum, South Africa.

Coelacanth, a shortening of the fossil genus name Coelacanthus – derives from Greek, Coel-, koilos, hollow; -acanthus, akanthos, thorn – refers to the hollow caudal fin rays of the first fossil specimen Louis Agassiz described and named in 1839.