Although the Permian species of Coelacanth, Coelacanthus granulatus, has been known since 1829, and although many authors have described specimens of it, it has remained unfortunately one of the lesser known of all Coelacanths. Since C. granulatus is the genotype of Coelacanthus, and since all the Carboniferous and some Triassic species have been assigned to this genus, it is surprising that further description has not been forthcoming. One of us (J. A. M. T.) has for some time been working on the Carboniferous Coelacanths, and it has been impossible to determine whether these really belong to the genus Coelacanthus. Accordingly it was hoped that by re-examining all the available material a more diagnostic description might be given. In doing this the authors have only been partly successful, as some of the most important generic characters—the dermal bones of the cheek and snout—were not preserved in any of the material examined. However, sufficient diagnostic characters have been provided by this research to distinguish the Carboniferous forms from this Permian genus.
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