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A Living Fish of Mesozoic Type


X Africa semper aliquid novi. It is my privilege to announce the discovery of a Crossopterygian ifish of a type believed to have become extinct by the close of the Mesozoic period. This fish was taken by trawl-net at a depth of about 40 fathoms some miles west of East London on December 22, 1938. It was alive when caught, and shortly after it died it was handed over to Miss Courtenaymounted specimen, a responsible citizen-angler of East London stated that about five years ago he had found precisely such a fish, only considerably larger (sic), partially decomposed, cast up by the waves on a lonely part of the shore east of East London. When he returned with assistance, the monster had vanished with a risen tide. With regard to the present specimen, fortunately both Latimer, curator of the East London Museum. Miss Latimer wrote to me, enclosing a sketch and brief particulars of the specimen. Owing to the seasonal disorganization of the postal services, the letter did not reach me at Knysna, some four hundred miles away, until ten days later. It was obvious from the sketch and notes that the fish was of a type believed long extinct. Immediate telephonic communication with the East London Museum revealed that, owing to lack of preserving equipment at that Institution, the putrefied body had been disposed of beyond any hope of redemption, and the fish had been mounted by the local taxidermist.

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