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What is a living fossil ?

Know about the slowest participants of evolution

Living fossils are literally the prehistoric time travelers .  So , let’s find out more about the ultimate time travelers!

Table of Contents

King of living fossils - gar fish
Alligator gar fish

Meet the Gars: The New King of Living Fossils 

A fish that seems like it’s been plucked straight from the age of dinosaurs. Swimming lazily through modern-day waters. That’s the gar – in easy words! With bodies shaped like darts and a beak that could double as a pair of forceps, these quirky critters are the epitome of ancient charm.

Slow and Steady Wins the Evolutionary Race

Now, here’s where things get even more fascinating. Turns out, gars are not just an average fish. You could literally think of them as the sloths of the evolutionary world! According to a recent study, their genomes change at a snail’s pace compared to other vertebrates.

 Maybe the genomes decided ,”Why rush when you’ve got millions of years to spare?”

Exploring Ancient creatures beyond Gars

While gars may steal the spotlight, they’re not the only ones rocking the living fossil vibe. For example , the coelacanth, for instance, is a deep-sea dweller with a lineage dating back over 400 million years. 

Also, let’s not forget about the horseshoe crab, a creature so ancient, it’s practically a living fossil icon. With these prehistoric creatures by our side, the concept of evolution seems like a journey through time!

Horseshoe crab
Horseshoe crab

FAQs: The Mysteries of Living Fossils

Q. What is the meaning of living fossil?

A. A living fossil is a plant, animal, or fungi that shows very little difference from its ancestors in the fossil record, dating back millions of years.

Q. What is an example of a living fossil?

A. Think horseshoe crabs, coelacanths, and the duck-billed platypus. These creatures will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine.

Q. What is the only living fossil?

A. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But some contenders include the aforementioned horseshoe crab and coelacanth.

Q. How do you identify a living fossil?

A. Look for species that have remained relatively unchanged over millions of years, with fossils resembling their modern-day counterparts.

Q. What is the most famous living fossil ?

A. That’s a tough one! But if we had to pick, then the coelacanth steals the spotlight with its prehistoric allure.

Q. What is a living fossil for kids?

A. Imagine meeting a real-life dinosaur in the form of a fish or a crab—that’s the magic of living fossils!

Q. Are alligators living fossils ?

A. They are close. But not quite! Alligators are ancient creatures, but they’ve undergone more noticeable changes compared to true living fossils.

Q. Which animal is called the king of living fossils ?

A. The gar fish takes the crown as the ultimate king of living fossils.

Living fossils may be relics of the past, but they’re anything but boring. With creatures like gars and horseshoe crabs around us, who needs a time machine? So just keep exploring!

Reference : [Popular Science]

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