Discovering Lungfish Fun Facts

Today at Light Future Art, we’re going to share some fascinating facts about some of the oldest species of fish in the world (and some of the most unique): lungfish!

Lung Fish Under Rock 1. The closest living relative to lungfish is the coelacanth. Both lungfish and coelacanth have remained mostly unchanged for close to 400 million years.
2. Lungfish are already perfectly evolved for their environments, which haven’t changed much in all the time they’ve been around. Lungfish have no natural predators in the places they live.
3. Lungfish have both lungs and gills. They use their gills for breathing underwater and, while swimming, use their lungs as a swim bladder. They can breathe out of the water, as well, using their lungs.
4. In some areas, there are droughts that leave lungfish stranded in mud or dried clay. During these times, they rely on their lungs to survive while waiting for the rain to come and free them. Droughts usually only last a couple of months but some fish have been known to live for several years waiting for the rain.

 

Spotted Lung Fish5. Lungfish can only be found on three continents: Africa, South America, and Australia. Lungfish fossils have been discovered in North America and Asia, but no extant lungfish currently can be found on these continents.
6. The Australian lungfish is the only lungfish species that must breathe exclusively through their lungs. They are in danger of drowning if they can’t get to the surface for air every so often.
7. Lungfish can move their fins in the same way that land animals move their legs. They have joints connecting their fins to their bodies which are unique among fish.

 

Lung Fish Swimming8. Lungfish have terrible eyesight, but they make up for it with superb smell, touch, and taste.
9. Lungfish are omnivorous. They most eat shellfish, crustaceans, other fish, bugs, and freshwater plants. However, they can sometimes go for years without eating a single thing.
10. Lungfish fathers are the parents responsible for guarding the nest and protecting their offspring until old enough to fend for themselves. The young lungfish can’t breathe through their lungs immediately, and the father develops the ability to disperse oxygen into the water for the babies when he is guarding the nest.

 

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