This Rare Fish Actually Lives On Land!

The salamanderfish, more commonly known as the lungfish is a fascinating creature. It is a freshwater fish with the amazing ability to be able to live on land as well as in water. It can survive on dry land for months, even years, with no water at all.


The reason it is able to do this is due to its respiratory system that has evolved over the years to such an extent that it able to breathe air like any normal land animal. It takes in air and absorbs the oxygen. Some species of this remarkable fish have become so adept at this practice that they eventually lose the use of their gills as they get older. They still swim in fresh water, like normal fish, but have to surface to breathe fresh air.


In fact, if you held them underwater without access to air, they would actually drown. The have long, thin bodies, much like eels. The crawl and swim around the murky bottom of the water using their thin, wispy pectoral and pelvic fins which propel them along. They prefer to remain the shallow water such as marshes and swamps but can occasionally be found in larger bodies of water.


Under normal conditions, when in water, the lung fish is much like all the other fish. They swim around and consume other smaller fish and crustaceans that they come across on the floor of the streams and ponds that they inhabit. When the water dries up seasonally, they dig down into the river bed and burrow under the mud. The lung fish does this by taking the mud in through its mouth and then forcing it out though the gills.

Once it is deep enough, it stops and then secretes a thick, sticky mucous through its skin. This hardens to form a cocoon type structure that protects it underground. There is a small opening for the mouth, allowing it breathe. During this period of hibernation, it is able to lower its metabolism. When the seasons change and the water returns, the lung fish worms it way out of the hole. It has been reported that they can remain in this state for up to four years.