The coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis, a living fossil, occupies a key phylogenetic position to explore the changes that have affected the genomes of the aquatic vertebrates that colonized dry land. This is the first study to isolate and analyze L. menadoensis mRNA. Three different vitellogenin transcripts were identified and their inferred amino acid sequences compared to those of other known vertebrates. The phylogenetic data suggest that the evolutionary history of this gene family in coelacanths was characterized by a different duplication event than those which occurred in teleosts, amniotes, and amphibia. Comparison of the three sequences highlighted differences in functional sites. Moreover, despite the presence of conserved sites compared with the other oviparous vertebrates, some sites were seen to have changed, others to be similar only to those of teleosts, and others still to resemble only to those of tetrapods. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 318B:404-416, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.