Friday, October 2, 1998 Published at 17:07 GMT 18:07 UK
'Extinct' fish found in second home
"Old Fourlegs" is one of the fish's many nicknames
A fish, until recently thought to have become extinct millions of years ago, has surfaced off Indonesia.
The spectacular find is causing scientists to review what they know about the coelacanth and ask more questions.
Coelacanth were thought to have died out until some were found in 1938 in and around the Comoros Islands in the western Indian Ocean near Madagascar.
Since then that was thought to be the only surviving population until the Indonesian specimens were caught - 6,000 miles away.
The fish, often described as a "living fossil", was discovered by a scientist's wife walking through a fish market in Sulawesi island, Indonesia.
But the fantastic find was almost thrown back into the sea by the shark fisherman who caught it.
He said: "It had bad, oily fish. We didn't think we could eat it but I'm glad we decided to keep it."
Now scientists are hoping to catch further coelacanth to help answers basic questions about its life and history such as how long they live and what predators they face.
A report in the scientific journal Nature says more coelacanth could be found between the two population centres.
But that was a mere baby compared to a 5ft long, 29kg monster caught in July this year off Indonesia.
Scientists have warned recently that the Indian Ocean population of the fish at the Comoros islands appeared to be diminishing.
A group of scientists from the University of California are planning further expeditions in Indonesia and to the islands between there and the Comoros Islands.
'Fish out of time'
The Coelacanth Rescue Mission, which tries to protect the Comoros population, has hailed the latest discovery on its Website.
It adds that its Latin name is Latimeria chalumnae and that the pronunciation of coelacanth is "see-la-kanth".
In Sulawesi, locals call it "raja laut" or "king of the sea"
The Website says DNA comparisons will be performed between the Indonesian and Comoran specimens, but believes "the first scientifically observed specimens appear identical to the Comoran coelacanth".