By Lenny Pierce
Fish have evolved to live in poisonous waters laden with sulphuric acid and at depths far beyond where any light could reach. But even with a high capacity for adaptation, there is still one thing any fish will always need: water … right? Not the lungfish. With a swim bladder (sometimes a pair of swim bladders) that has been adapted into a lung, the lungfish has evolved to take in oxygen straight from the air. The lungfish’s lungs allow it to live completely out of water for months, and even years, at a time.
When waters are high, the lungfish behaves like any other fish, happily munching away on small fish and crustaceans on the bottoms of ponds and streams. However, when the dry season hits and most other fish succumb to a slow death by sun-frying, the lung fish burrows itself deep into the mud, digging out a path by taking mud into its mouth and forcing it out its gills (which it still has in addition to it’s lung(s)). Once it has reached a comfortable depth, the lungfish settles in to its spot and starts emitting a slime that will cover …read more