Did you know lungfish are the only fish that have both lungs and gills? This allows them to survive in areas where the water dries up regularly.
Some other types of fish, like mudskippers, can live in water and on land also. But mudskippers don't have lungs. Instead, they trap water inside their unusually large gill chambers, and they carry that water with them, getting oxygen from it. They can also absorb oxygen through their skin. Lungfish, however, have actual lungs for breathing air.
Although there were many lungfish species in the distant past, today only six species still exist—one in South America, one in Australia, and four in Africa. Because lungfish live where the water often dries up, it's not surprising that they all live in freshwater habitats.
Lungfish can live a really long time. One particular specimen, a Queensland lungfish named Granddad, lived at the Sydney Aquarium, then was moved to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. Granddad lived in captivity from 1933 to 2017 and was thought to be at least ninety years old when it was euthanized due to its failing health.
- South American Lungfish - DepositPhotos
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