One of the strangest fish in the world: to catch it, you’ll have to dig yourself out of the ground

Lungfish, hence the English name lungfish, are freshwater fish best known for their ability to live on land without water for months, sometimes even years. As the name suggests, these fish have a highly developed respiratory system that can take oxygen directly from the air, just like land animals, writes amusingplanet.com.

In fact, some species of fish have become so used to breathing air that they gradually lose the function of their gills as they grow. Although they still live in the water, they need to come to the surface regularly to breathe air. These fish can even drown if they are kept under water for a long time, according to the portal.

The body of these fish is elongated like an eel, and the pectoral and pelvic fins are similar to threads, which they use to swim and crawl along the bottom. They usually live in shallow waters such as swamps and marshes, but they are also found in larger lakes.

When there is water, these fish behave like other fish, swimming in the water and feeding on small fish and crustaceans on the bottom of ponds and streams. However, when the dry season begins, they burrow deep into the mud and dig their way out, taking the mud into their mouths and expelling it through their gills.

After reaching a comfortable depth, the fish stops digging and secretes mucus from its skin, which hardens, forming a protective cocoon around it. Only the mouth remains open for breathing. During a long sleep, the fish greatly reduces its metabolism and lives off the muscle tissue of the tail. When the water recedes and the mud softens, they emerge from their burrow. According to some reports, fish can stay underground in dried mud for up to four years.

These fish are found only in Africa, South America and Australia. In Africa, these fish are eaten by the local population, who often dig them up from the dry soil. The fish is said to have a strong taste, so not everyone likes it.

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