Rapid Communication

Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 281-286

First online:

CoelacanthLatimeria chalumnae aggregates in caves: first observations on their resting habitat and social behavior

  • Hans FrickeAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , Jürgen SchauerAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , Karen HissmannAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , Lutz KasangAffiliated withMax-Planck-Institut für Verhaltensphysiologie
  • , Raphael PlanteAffiliated withCentre d'Océanologie de Marseille, Station Marine d'Endoume

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We report first observations on social behavior ofLatimeria chalumnae in its natural environment at around 200 m depth in the Comoro Archipelago, Western Indian Ocean. Coelacanths aggregate in small nonaggressive groups in sheltered lava-caves. They live in open site-attached social systems with individuals occupying large overlapping home ranges of more than 8 km coastline, some for a period of at least 2 years.

Key words

Living fossil Submersible observations Actinistian Sarcopterygii