living fossil


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living fossil

n.
An organism, such as the coelacanth or ginkgo, that is similar in appearance to its fossilized distant ancestors and usually has no extant close relatives.

living fossil

an organism such as COELOCANTH or Ginkgo (GINKGOALES) which had previously been known only from fossil forms, and was thought to be extinct prior to its discovery.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The giant snail-like nautilus is a living fossil that has been in our waters for about 500 million years.
During the past twenty years or so, he has written more than ten other well-received books, mainly focusing on the history of science and natural history, ranging from The Young Charles Darwin (2009) to Living Fossil: The Story of the Coelacanth (1991).
The species, which carries the scientific name Acipensaer sinensis, is considered a ''living fossil'' for having survived in the Yangtze River for nearly 140 million years.
They have been scooting and waddling on the earth for over 100 million years and in the right light they can be considered handsome, in a prehistoric throwback living fossil sort of way.
It's actually a living representative of the Diatomyidae family--in other words, a living fossil.--J.L.
(6.) New mouse find is "'living fossil." [cited 2006 Oct 30].
The remarkable video and photos are being hailed as historic mages documenting a true "living fossil," the Laotian rock rat The rat is so called for its only known habitat--limestone outcroppings in Central Laos--and the appearance of the animal's head and face, which sport long whiskers and beady eyes like those of a rat To view photographs and video of the Laotian rock rat, visit www.rinr.fsu.edu/rockrat.
It may turn out that the political framework of the 20th century--in which conservative and moderate factions in each of the two parties overlapped, and shifting bipartisan coalitions were always the way things got done--was the anomaly, a living fossil dating from the peculiar history of the post-Reconstruction South.
Ginkgo biloba is considered a true "living fossil." The gingko family reached its development peak in the Triassic and Jurassic eras, then went the way of the dinosaur as the Ice Age eliminated all but the Ginkgo biloba from the western hemisphere.
Perhaps this living fossil could be planted upright in the ground.
In growing intellectual isolation, this once-celebrated scientist became "something of a crank," Lindley concludes, "a living fossil."
Another living fossil that seems to lack a great survival strategy is the Hawaiian monk seal, the oldest living pinneped-the family of fin- footed mammals that includes seals, walruses and sea lions.