Thank you all so much for sending this prompt in!! I considered the idea of sort of connecting them all as if he was telling a story, which is why I will be answering all of the asks in that format here! Based on what people wanted, there will be at least four paragraphs of him grappling with his thoughts on his father, with three flashbacks interspersed. I put it under a read more because of the length; enjoy!
What exactly is a coelacanth?? Like I know it's an old fish, but what makes it a "living fossil"
This is an interesting question! So, a coelacanth is an example of two neat things: a Lazarus Taxon and a Living Fossil. Both of these are pretty vaguely defined terms, but here’s the general consensus:
A “living fossil” is an organism that hasn’t undergone any major changes for millions of years. A good example of this is crocodilians (crocodiles, alligators, caimans, etc.) - they really don’t look any different than they did 80 million years ago. Coelacanths are living fossils in that they’re pretty much the same as they were 400 million years ago.
A “lazarus taxon” is a species, genus, or anything else that suddenly shows up after seemingly disappearing. When most people talk about coelacanths being living fossils, this is what they mean. We thought they had gone extinct 65 million years ago until some dude caught one near Africa in 1938. Now we know they’re still around, just really rare. There’s two living species we know of, found in the ocean near southwest Africa and Indonesia. They give live birth, which is pretty cool. Also, they’re a lot bigger than you might think (x):
“But are you a different animal AND the same beast?” - Kobe Bryant
I don’t even know what to actually think about this, honestly. Is she cutting some corner in the food chain? Did i just see the top of a pyramid consume another pyramid? Idk. Just be careful out there, there’s jaguars eating caimans.
Would you say that taking care of a large snake is any different from taking care of a large reptile? I used to have monitors (and at one point, a caiman alligator) so I wanted to know how similar taking care of the two are.
I genuinely know 0% about lizards larger than bearded dragons, so I can’t really compare the two :(