The coelacanth, a fish that hasn't changed much in 400 million years, is getting with the times and getting on the Net.

With a little help from a human scientific expedition, images of the ancient creatures, Latimeria chalumnae, are swimming to a computer near you.

Video footage and still photographs of the coelacanths will be displayed on a Web site for surfers to view moments after divers have delivered the images to the surface. The Web site requires a $10 US subscription fee to enter.

Ancient inhabitant

The coelacanth has fascinated scientists since the first sighting of a live specimen in 1938. It's the modern representative of a group of fish that swam in the seas before there were any back-boned animals on land.

Since that first view, there have been relatively few observations of coelacanths. But the recent discovery of what appears to be a whole colony in Sodwana Bay in October 2000 was a major breakthrough for researchers.

The current expedition hopes to film more of the creatures so scientists can eventually determine if the Sodwana population is viable and breeding or is simply made up of a few drifters from the Comoro Islands.