A Fish Caught In Time: The Search For The Coelacanth by Samantha WeinbergA Fish Caught In Time: The Search For The Coelacanth by Samantha Weinberg

A Fish Caught In Time: The Search For The Coelacanth

bySamantha Weinberg

Paperback | February 1, 2001

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The coelacanth (see-lo-canth) is no ordinary fish. Five feet long, with luminescent eyes and limb like fins, this bizarre creature, presumed to be extinct, was discovered in 1938 by an amateur icthyologist who recognized it from fossils dating back 400 million years. The discovery was immediately dubbed the "greatest scientific find of the century," but the excitement that ensued was even more incredible. This is the entrancing story of that most rare and precious fish -- our own great-uncle forty million times removed.

Title:A Fish Caught In Time: The Search For The CoelacanthFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.04 × 5.29 × 0.59 inPublished:February 1, 2001Publisher:Harpercollins PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060932856

ISBN - 13:9780060932855

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fish in Formaldehyde I remember seeing my first coelacanth at the Vancouver Public Aquarium when I was young, it was a curious fish, housed in a large glass tank and preserved in an amber solution. To me it wasn't as cool as the sharks, as all I saw at the time was a big ugly fish, but little did I know how significant it was. Old Fourlegs' relatives were only known as fossils up until 1938, when Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer discovered a peculiar freshly caught fish from near the Chalumna River in South Africa. Its eventual, identification by J.L.B Smith, would send waves of excitement around the world, that a "living fossil" the coelacanth had been found and was possibly still alive. Latimeria chalumnae's discovery sparked scepticism, international controversy, evolutionary and religious debates, but as a second, third and more were caught, it truly became one of the greatest finds of its time. The novel relives the accounts of those close to the discovery of the coelacanth, the tales of the Comoros Islands grand spectacle, discovery of a second species and realization the coelacanth need to be protected. Anyone with an interest in natural history, discovery and early scientific exploration will immensely appreciate reading this book about a fish that was thought to be extinct.
Date published: 2018-02-14

Editorial Reviews

"Samantha Weinberg has written a lovely book about this discovery and What It All Means, and everybody ought to read it... This is terrific stuff, and even if you haven't given much thought recently to big, supposedly extinct fishes first found in East Africa and then in Indonesia, you ought to read this book. It will knock your socks off."-- Richard Ellis, London "Times"Weinberg knows what is important and what is not, but does not let good stories go unnoticed all the same. Her command of the details is impressive--you come away knowing what the excitement was all about. The account is excellent and humane...and the cliffhangers about extinction and possible other habitats are exciting as well."-- Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.ukA "fascinating study of an arcane subject and the scientists caught up in the adventure...full of incident and skulduggery. Weinberg holds us enthralled until the last page."-- "Tatler, London"The discovery of the coelacanth, as told in Samantha Weinberg's thrilling new book, reads like some classic Spielberg creation - Indiana Jones let loose in a real-life Jurassic Park."-- "The Mail on Sunday, London"this book has all the ingredients of a bestseller: a curious, four-limbed fish to which we probalby owe our own evolutionary existence, a host of eccentric icthyologists, Teutonic submariners, British adventurers, and a series of political and environmental imbroglios."-- Giles Foden, "Guardian, London"Weinberg's lively account of politics and serendipity in marine research helps you understand how even a fish could engender fanaticism."-- Richard Fortey, "Yorkshire Post, England"Samantha Weinberg's account of the many lives of the coelacanth has all the ingredientsof a great scientific story...rare mytical beasts, mad professors, last-minute mercy dashes, international piracy, high-level political intrigue, and richly satisfactory cast of supplementary cameos...Weinberg skillfully fills the narrative with educational asides and...sharp character sketches."-- Bella Bathurst, The "Scotsman, UK"a fascinating and accessible study of an arcane subject."-- "Literary Review, EnglandSamantha Weinberg "writes with enthusiasm and passion."-- Simon Singh, "The Sunday Telegraph"a fascinating tale...Samantha Weinberg uses her journalistic skills to weave an entertaining and well researched account of coelacanth mania."-- Gail Vines, "Independent, UKa "lively book...part natural history, part adventure story and...part evolutionary musing...garnished with great splashes of narrative color."-- The "Daily Telegraph, UK"Samantha Weinberg's "A Fish Caught in Time is like Dalva Sobel's "Longitude or Simon Winchester's "The Professor and the Madman--great fun to read yet seriously informative. All three of these journalist-authors know how to craft a good story."--Michael Dirda, "The Washington Post