Ceratodontiformes – Lungfish
Persisted through various geological epochs, making them true “living fossils”
Lungfish, with their unique and distinctive characteristics, are a group of fish that stand out in the aquatic world. One of their most remarkable features is the possession of both gills and a pair of lungs, setting them apart from other fish groups. This dual respiratory system allows lungfish to extract oxygen from air and water, providing them a remarkable advantage in surviving oxygen-deprived environments.
This remarkable ability to breathe both in the air and underwater contributes to the lungfish’s adaptability and longevity. In environments where oxygen levels may fluctuate or become limited, they can switch between their gills and lungs, ensuring their continued survival.
Lungfish are primarily inhabitants of freshwater environments, and they can be found in diverse habitats such as rivers, lakes, and swamps across continents, including Africa, South America, and Australia. Their behavior varies among species, with some lungfish choosing to remain in water throughout their lives, while others exhibit a remarkable adaptation known as aestivation. During dry periods, when water sources dwindle, these lungfish can enter a state of dormancy and burrow into the mud. They remain in this suspended animation until the return of water, demonstrating their ability to endure even the harshest environmental conditions.