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Paper Puppets Animate the Discovery of the Coelacanth, a Living Fossil

We’re always happy when there’s a new Animated Life to watch, and the last one for the year is no exception. This time out, we’ve got the coelacanth and the discovery that the fish with the 400 million-year-old lineage is still alive.


Flora Lichtman and Sharon Shattuck’s series is always fueled by their own geeky discovery. As they put in The New York Times article accompanying the video:

In the course of researching this film, we learned all kinds of amazing facts about the coelacanth. For instance, unlike most fish, they give birth to live young. They produce eggs the size of grapefruits, which then hatch internally. From video footage taken by the explorer Hans Fricke — which we used as inspiration for our sets and puppets — we know coelacanths are prone to some odd behavior. They’ve been spotted doing headstands underwater.


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They are also worth 15,000 Bells in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and they only show up when it’s raining or snowing.