Would a coelocanth and a human still have more sequences in common than a coelocanth and a grouper? Would the coelocanth and human dna basically "look" more similar than either would to a ray-finned fish based on sequences?

  • $\begingroup$ This question is unclear. Are you asking about comparing the coelacanth-to-human distance to the coelacanth-to-grouper distance, or are you comparing the coelacanth-to-human distance to the grouper-to-human distance? $\endgroup$
    – mdperry
    Jul 14, 2019 at 11:51

1 Answer 1


Yes, in virtually every way. In terms of pairwise distances, measured in percentages, humans and coelacanth are closer to one-another than coelacanth would be to any ray-finned fish. In terms of individual genes, there would be genes that humans and coelacanth share with their common ancestor, but are not found in any ray-finned fish. Remember, humans are bipedal terrestrial fish.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, it just seems so odd to me because groupers and coelocanths have such a similar morphology and lifestyle. Is this true of pretty much any more closely related taxa compared a less closely related outgroup? i.e. are the sequences always closer among more recently diverged groups compared to groups that diverged farther back? $\endgroup$ Jul 8, 2019 at 2:14
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    $\begingroup$ @KarlKjer Good answer. Would be great to have the statistics for the # of pairwise differences between Coelacanth and a ray-finned fish species and between coelacanth and humans. $\endgroup$
    – Remi.b
    Jul 8, 2019 at 3:18

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