Season 30, Episode 10 Ancient Creatures of the Deep

First Aired: January 21, 2003

Following scientists' pursuit of a big, ugly and very ancient (400 million years old) fish called the coelacanth, a “living fossil” that is thought to be a “missing link” between sea and land animals. The coelacanth was also thought to be extinct until one was caught off South Africa in 1938 and spotted on a dock by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, the curator of a natural-history museum. Latimer (who's interviewed) was unable to preserve it (though she did have it stuffed). She also told a professor friend named J.L.B. Smith, and the hunt was on for a second specimen. This hour traces the hunt and explores the coelacanth's significance: Its fins look like limbs.

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  • Premiered: March 3, 1974
  • Rating: None
  • Premise: PBS's premier science-documentary series, which has won six Peabody Awards and more than 20 Emmys (four in 2002 alone) since its 1974 debut. `Nova' clearly, and often engagingly, `demystifies' a vast range of science, technology and history topics---past a… (more)

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