Fisherman Sells Dinosaur to Restaurant

Posted on May 15, 2009

A dinosaur-era fish would seem like a rare gift to most treasure-hunters. Surviving instances of such legendary creatures would make an ordinary fisherman rush to his local university to make sure that the ultimate big fish tale brought him glory.


However, when Indonesian fisherman Justinus Lahama caught a prehistoric coelacanth off the coast of Sulawesi Island, he took another route.

While most would be concerned with the fame and fortune that such a catch might bring, Lahama’s thoughts turned to his stomach. He sold the coelacanth to a local restaurant – a noodle shop.

Once in the shop, the 50-kilogram fish once thought extinct since the Cretaceous era wasn’t fried, or baked, or breaded. No one had dinosaur for dinner (luckily for them – the coelacanth apparently has quite a disfavorable flavor unsuited for human consumption. Perhaps that foul taste was how it evaded predators these many years?).


But the prehistoric creature couldn’t take the pressure of being observed in a restaurant fish tank. It died after 17 hours. Experts who examined the corpse confirmed that it was an unknown kind of coelacanth.

It’s not the first coelacanth to wash up on shore – they’ve been spotted in Zanzibar, South Africa, and Madagascar. But it’s the only one you’ll find on a menu.


Rachel is a writer and tutor living in Virginia. She loves learning about other cultures and thinks we’re all a little wacky.

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6 thoughts on “Fisherman Sells Dinosaur to Restaurant

  1. count duckula

    Oh, a peace offering, is it? Very well… What say you trim those gin-soaked whiskers and bring me some plutonium?

    1. Manado

      The actual facts are quite different from those in the article
      1) The fisherman did not exactly know what he had caught while "line fishing"
      2) The fish was never sold to the Restaurant but was sold to the Governor of Manado who donated it to the University.
      3) The fish was never held in a "Fish Tank" but was kept in a outdoor natural "holding tank" the size of which is similar to a small lake.


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