Extraordinary Fish that “Walks” on Land, Survives for 5 Years Without Food

Lungfish is one of the most peculiar fish species on Earth. It garners attention for its ability to survive for up to 5 years without food. Remarkably, they can also live for 2 years without water. However, if they stay in the water for too long without being exposed to air, they will perish.

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One globally famous peculiar fish species is the Lungfish (known as “cá phổi” in Vietnamese). This fish species captures attention with its unique characteristics that set it apart from other species.
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In particular, the Lungfish stands out due to its retention of primitive characteristics within the Osteichthyes class, which includes the ability to breathe air and primitive structures found in the Sarcopterygii subclass.
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The name “Lungfish” originates from the well-developed lungs of this species. Thanks to this characteristic, they can survive in aquatic environments with extremely low oxygen levels, which is rare among other fish species.
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According to experts, Lungfish can survive through extended periods of drought and severe food shortages for approximately 5 years.
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Moreover, Lungfish can survive in water-deprived conditions for an extended period, possibly up to 2 years.
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During dry seasons, Lungfish burrow themselves in the mud and can enter a state of “estivation” or dormancy. During this time, their metabolic processes slow down to about 1/60th of their normal rate.
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To accomplish this, prior to the onset of dry seasons, Lungfishes store large amounts of water in their lungs to prepare for the “estivation” phase.
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When the rainy season arrives and the environment becomes more aquatic, the increased water will awaken the dormant Lungfishes from their estivation period. They will then resume their normal activities and continue their regular life cycle.
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In addition to their remarkable adaptations, Lungfishes have a significant drawback: they can drown if they stay submerged in water for too long without access to air. Their specialized lung system, which allows them to breathe air, becomes ineffective if they are unable to reach the surface to breathe. Therefore, prolonged submersion without access to air can be fatal for them.
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Lungfishes are predominantly found in Africa, South America, and Australia. According to experts, they tend to have a longer lifespan in artificial environments rather than in their natural habitats.