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Didier Casane and Patrick Laurenti Why coelacanths are not ‘living fossils’ BioEssays 35

Version of Record online: 4 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1002/bies.201200145

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Recent studies that concluded that a slow rate of molecular evolution is linked to morphological conservatism in coelacanths are biased by the a priori hypothesis that these species are ‘living fossils’. We show that this outdated concept is not supported by actual molecular or paleontological data and does not make sense from a tree-thinking perspective.

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