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Lungfish

Known as living fossils, this unique species are thought to have evolved approximately 400 million years ago – that’s about 265 million years before dinosaurs!

MAQ Lungfish 572x289

Lungfish

Australia’s geographic isolation from other parts of the world has left us with some remarkable remnants of some of the world’s most ancient species, including the Lungfish.

Known as living fossils, this unique species are thought to have evolved approximately 400 million years ago – that’s about 265 million years before dinosaurs!

Special Skills

 Under most conditions, the Lungfish breathes exclusively using its gills. During dry periods, this species can surface and breathe air using a unique lung which allows them to survive where other fish can’t.

Reducing Populations?

Despite their special skills, the Lungfish is considered a vulnerable species and faces some serious threats in the wild due to river damming, resulting in significant habitat loss.

As caretakers of these ancient species it is important to continue to protect the delicate and threatened habitats that remain for them.

Lungfish Fast Facts:

  • Common Name: Australian Lungfish
  • Scientific name: Neoceratodus  forsteri                                   
  • Habitat: Still or slow-flowing water with some aquatic vegetation on the stream banks 
  • Diet: Frogs, tadpoles, small fish, molluscs, freshwater shrimp and earthworms
  • Size: Up to 1.5m
  • Range: Burnett and Mary River systems, Queensland.
  • Threats: Habitat loss and river damming
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
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