Dipneusti – Lungfish

Showcases remarkable adaptations allowing them to thrive on land and sea

A group of freshwater fish that has evolved to withstand a range of environmental conditions. Fossil records indicate lungfish have existed for over 400 million years, making them one of the oldest extant vertebrate groups. Their evolutionary journey provides a unique perspective on the transitions from aquatic to terrestrial life during the early stages of vertebrate evolution.


One of the defining features of lungfish is their ability to breathe air. While possessing gills for underwater respiration, lungfish also have a specialized respiratory system that allows them to extract oxygen directly from the air. This adaptation is facilitated by a pair of lungs, which vary in structure among different species of lungfish. Some lungfish can even survive extended periods of drought by burrowing into mud and entering a state of aestivation until more favorable conditions return.