(South) American Lungfish Lepidosiren paradoxa

American Lungfish
American Lungfish
Lungfish are the link between fish and amphibians. The American or South American Lungfish is the only species and genus in its family and one of six surviving lungfish worldwide. It is native to slow-moving waters and swamps of the Amazon, Paraguay and Parana river basins. Adults can grow to 1.25 metres (4 feet) long.
American Lungfish
American Lungfish
American Lungfish
Its swim bladder has evolved into a lung, allowing it to breathe air as well as taking oxygen from the water through gills like other fish. It digs tunnels in the mud and blocks the entrance with mud to keep moisture in the dry season. It digs an airhole and secretes a mucus layer to keep moist until rains return. It eats worms and small fish from the mud plus algae and shrimps. Young are more like tadpoles and then newts rather than fish. Juveniles have gold spots. Males look after the young until they can fend for themselves.