JAKARTA, June 30 (Xinhua) -- A team of Indonesian and Japanese scientists have filmed the first ever live images of the extremely primitive and rare coelacanth fish in deep waters off Manado, North Sulawesi province, a newspaper report said Friday.

The experts from the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) Oceanology Center and the Fukushima Aquamarine Institute used a remotely operated vehicle to take pictures of five of the fish swimming at between 150 and 200 meters below sea level, said The Jakarta Post newspaper.

The coelacanth was first rediscovered in South Africa waters in1938, and was later caught dead in North Sulawesi waters in 1998 and 1999.

Scientists had previously thought the fish had died out around 70-80 million years ago and only knew of its existence from fossils. The discovery of the first coelacanth was described as "akin to finding a living dinosaur roaming the earth".

Researchers said the latest find could indicate these fish originated in the Manado sea and later migrated to South Africa, revising an earlier assumption that the species originated from South Africa.

Kasim Moosa, a researcher involved in the project, said Thursday that this five-foot-long fish liked to dwell in ocean caves.

The coelacanth is a predator that eats smaller fish.

The species from Manado, named the Latimerai manadoensis, is a brownish color with white spots dotted all over its body.

Scientists were surprised at the extra fleshy fins of this species, which they said resembled human hands and feet.

"The fish has a low metabolism. It needs to consume very little to survive for a long time," Kasim said.

Experts said the coelacanth has lived for more 360 million years under water, making it one of the world's oldest fish.

Kasim, a former researcher from LIPI, said the new video of the fish would help put Indonesia on the map for aquamarine research. "We are going to publicize these findings in Nature magazine," he said, adding that the fish was already protected under Indonesian law.