Annual Meeting > Special Events

Special Events

Special Lecture by Professor Hans W. Fricke
The Survivial of the Living Coelacanth, Latimeria Chalumnae

Date: Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Time: 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Location: Museum für Naturkunde, Lecture Hall 7

Hans W. Fricke is a world-renowned expert on the ecology of the living coelacanth, Latimeria. He was the first scientist to discover and study the behaviour of the coelacanth in its natural environment, and the underwater movies he took became world famous. Hans W. Fricke works at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany.


This presentation is open to all attendees.  If you choose to attend, transportation is on your own. More information about this lecture will be available online.


In 1938 off the Chalumna River at the East coast of South Africa, a living coelacanth went into the net of a trawler – a discovery which made world press. A big fish, a crossopterygian, thought to be extinct for 60 mio years survived in a hidden ecological niche of the western Indian Ocean. Latimeria was enthusiastically celebrated as the missing link between fish and land-living tetrapods. But paleontologists knew that Latimeria is not a “missing link” and belongs to an evolutionary dead end of coelacanthid fish.

It took almost half a century that we succeeded with the research submersible GEO to study and film the fish in its natural environment for the first time. It is a nocturnal drift hunter feeding on fish, which are detected using one of the biggest electroreceptors in the fish world. Latimeria hides during the day in lava caves which are inhabited over more than 21 years. Acoustic tracking revealed that the fish hunts down to 698 m. How could Latimeria survive for millions of years almost unchanged in appearance? Its evolutionary survival is linked to its extremely slow metabolism, one of the slowest in the vertebrate world. Genetic studies revealed a second subpopulation in the Comores and South Africa. Living fossils, Darwin´s unloved children, believed not to change over millions of years, do indeed undergo an adaptive radiation. Canadian paleontologists discovered the killer coelacanth Rebellatrix, a vicious predator of the open ocean although the majority of coelacanths are semibenthic.



Welcome Reception

Date: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Time: 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Location: Museum für Naturkunde

Transportation will be provided from the Estrel Hotel to the
Museum für Naturkunde starting at 6:00pm.  Buses will depart approximately every 30 minutes on a continuous loop between the Estrel and Museum. The last pick up from the Museum will be at 11:00pm.


Student Roundtable and Reprint Exchange

Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Time: 7:30pm – 11:30pm

Location: Hall C


During this informal session students can network and receive accurate and important advice from respected experts and leaders on many topics.


The Student Reprint Exchange is a chance for you to build your library, free of charge.  Recent reprints on all areas of vertebrate paleontology will be available through the generous donations of SVP members.


Mail in or bring your reprints for this event!

Mail reprints to the following address for RECEIPT by Saturday, October 25, 2014.


Johannes Müller

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Invalidenstr. 43
D-10115 Berlin, Germany

or bring them with you to the meeting and drop them off at the SVP Office in the Estrel Hotel.


Annual Benefit Auction and Social

Date: Friday, November 7, 2014

Time: 6:30pm – 11:30pm

Location: Hall C


There will be hundreds of one-of-a-kind items for the bidding; no one should go away disappointed.  Remember to pack light and leave room in your bags.  Start today by gathering items to donate for the auction.  These may include fossil replicas, books, reprints, artwork, toys, t-shirts – use your imagination.  Fossils will not be accepted.  Donate your own treasures – download the Auction Donation Form from the SVP website.  Auction proceeds will go to the Legacy League of Funds.  A cash bar will be provided. 

A minimum bid of 5 € is required, with bids increasing by 1 € increments.


For more information on the Auction, contact Auction Co-Chairs Brent H. Breithaupt at or Scott Williams at


Click here for Auction Donation Form.


Ship items for RECEIPT by Saturday, October 25, 2014. Please inform Johannes Müller in advance of the shipment of any large items.


Johannes Müller

Items for SVP Auction

Museum für Naturkunde
Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung
an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Invalidenstr. 43
D-10115 Berlin, Germany


Phone: +49 30 2093 8805


Awards Ceremony

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014

Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Location: Hall A


After Hours Party

Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014

Time: 10:00pm – 1:00am

Location: Hall C/D


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