What is a living fossil?

A living fossil is an animal or plant that is alive today but was thought to have died out long ago because it appears in the fossil record.  One of the most famous living fossils is the Coelacanth fish.  The fossil record shows that this fish supposedly died out 66 million years ago, but in 1938 it was found swimming off the South African coast.  Another example of a living fossil is the Wollemi Pine Tree, which was also thought to be extinct according to the fossil record but in fact was found to still be growing.  These living fossils are significant because they show one of the many flaws in the evolutionary paradigm.


An older and more recent picture of the Coelacanth fish.