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Related FAQs: Lungfishes

Related Articles: Coelacanths, Bony-Tongues, Bichirs & Ropefish,

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

The Lungfishes, Order Sarcopterygii (Lobe-Finned Fishes), Infraclass Dipnoi (Dipneusti) 

Bob Fenner

Lepidosiren paradoxa

Really old fishes... likely arose in the mid to lower Devonian... possibly a side-shoot of the organisms that gave rise to land vertebrates. Tail fin diphycercal, ending in a point, confluent with dorsal and anal fins. Premaxilla and maxilla bones absent. Have functional lungs. Three extant genera with six living species. 

Order Ceradontiformes Flipperlike pectoral and pelvic fins. Large scales. Unpaired air bladder/lung. Young without external gills, adults don't "hibernate" (estivate)

    Family Ceratodontidae, the Australian Lungfish. One species.

Neoceratodus forsteri Kemp and Molnar 1981. Australian Lungfish. Southeast Queensland, Australia. To   

Order Lepidoseriformes Filamentous pectoral and pelvic fins, lacking rays. Small scales. Air bladder/lungs paired. Young with external gills, adults do estivate in dry seasons.

    Family Lepidosirenidae, the South American Lungfish. One species.

Lepidosiren paradoxa Fitzinger 1837, South American Lungfish. Brazil and Paraguay. Juveniles feed on snails, insects, adults on herbaceous stems. To fifty inches in length. http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=4511&genusname=Lepidosiren&speciesname=paradoxa

    Family Protopteridae, African Lungfishes. One genus, four species.

Protopterus aethiopicus Heckel 1851, the Marbled Lungfish.  Dorsal fin originates midway between the eye and vent. Dark gray above, brown to yellow below. East Africa; the Nile and many lakes. To two meters in length, 17 kilograms. Tropical, 25-30 C.   
Protopterus amphibius (Peters 1844), the Gilled Lungfish. East Africa; Kenya, Somalia to Zambesi Delta. To eighteen inches in length.   
Protopterus annectens (Owen 1839), West African Lungfish. Feeds on mollusks, crabs, small fishes and insects. Very long pectoral fins, darkish in color. To one meter in length.  
Protopterus dolloi Boulenger 1900, the Slender Lungfish. Central Africa, lower and middle Congo. To fifty two inches in length.  http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=8736&genusname=Protopterus&speciesname=dolloi

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