The coelacanth is an iconic species that has captured the public's imagination owing to its unusual appearance and its special history. The fish possesses paired fins resembling limb-like structures and other features that have placed it in an outgroup position to the terrestrial vertebrates. The recent sequencing of the coelacanth genome has enabled insights into the fin–limb transition and the origin of terrestriality. Here, I discuss some of the more salient findings and interpret them in an evolutionary context.

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