Image of Lepidosiren paradoxa (South American lungfish) Etymology: Lepidosiren: Greek, lepis = scale + Greek, seiren = a mythological serpent, (Ref. Expert(s). Expert: Eschmeyer, W. N.. Notes: California Academy of Sciences. Reference for: Lepidosiren paradoxa. Other Source(s). Source: Catalog of Fishes. Aestivation in the South American lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa: effects on cardiovascular function, blood gases, osmolality and leptin levels.

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Details of the range of L. There has not been a lot of research on this species and the specimens that have been identified lack information on their origin. This species lives in South America, primarily in the Amazon river basin. They prefer stagnant water where there is lepidosren current, such as a swamp or lake.

South American lungfish – Wikipedia

These fish typically stay very close to the surface of the water. In times of drought, they can lepidosireb in the mud up to 50 cm to avoid drying out Berra, Lepidosiren paradoxa are primarily freshwater fish and are physiologically unable to cross large expanses of saltwater Alves-Gomes et al. Lepidosiren paradoxa juveniles have a pattern of bright yellow spots which fade away as the fish matures Alves-Gomes et al.

Adult South American lungfish have a black or grey coloration. Lungfish have solid toothplates instead of individual teeth. Bodies are long and slender, somewhat like salamanders, with a diphycercal tail. These fish can grow up parafoxa cm in length Baensch et al. Lepidosiren paradoxa young look a bit like amphibian larvaewith four external gills that they use for breathing until about seven weeks in age.

After this time, they become obligate air breathers and regression of the external gills begins Berra, They have a reduced bronchial apparatus which allows them to survive during times when oxygen levels are low. During drought, they can burrow into mud to 50 cm below the surface and become dormant until the environment becomes more hospitable Surfactant composition of South American lungfish resembles that of amphibians.

In contrast, the more primitive Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus fosteripossesses surfactant that is almost identical to primitive air-breathing actinopterygiian fish Orgeig, This could be one reason why L. Orgeig and Daniels, Newly hatched Lepidosiren paradoxa resemble amphibian tadpoles. The have four external gills which they use to breathe for the first seven weeks of their lives Berra, After this time, they become strictly air breathers and their gills begin to regress During the breeding season, the males develop gill-like structures that allow them to lepidowiren oxygen into their burrows for their developing young These structures disappear after the breeding season is over.

There is very little information on the mating systems of Lepidosiren paradoxa. Lepidosiren paradoxa breed during the rainy months when adults are able to move into areas that have been flooded and build nests Alves-Gomes et al. Other information, including egg development, the number of offspring per breeding season, and gestation periods is unknown.


Both paraddoxa gather debris to make a nest. The nest is then guarded by the male parent. The males can increase oxygen levels for their developing young by using gill-like structures formed during the breeding season. These gill-like structures are highly vascularized, feathery structures developed from paraddoxa pelvic fin Berra, These structures allow pararoxa male to release oxygen from his blood into the surrounding nest and remove carbon dioxide Lepidosiren paradoxa has not been well studied in terms of life span, but the studies that have been conducted show that the average lifespan of this species is a little more that eight years, both in the wild and in captivity.

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Lepidosiren paradoxa is a solitary species. They live by themselves in burrows that they construct in swamps or lakes Alves-Gomes et al. They are mostly inactive, laying in the muddy or shallow water close to the surface in order to breathe. Other behaviors, such as social structures and interaction with other species are lepidoisren unknown due to the lack of research on this species.

The home range of Lepidosiren paradoxa is likely small because of its inactive nature. There is not a lot known about communication and perception in Lepidosiren paradoxa. They have small eyes which suggests that L.

Lepidosiren paradoxa eat a variety of food items including some bony fishalgae and weeds, terrestrial plants stemsshrimp, insects, clams, and snails Berra, They are primarily carnivorous. Juveniles, which are strictly aquatic, feed on larval insects and snails.

South American lungfish capture prey by suction feeding. They use tooth plates, an enlarged cranial rib which serves as the site for the origin of the muscle that depresses the hyoid apparatusand a depressor mandibulae to manipulate and chew food prior to swallowing. Hydraulic transport achieved by movements of the hyoid apparatus is used to position prey within the mouth. This is parallel to the function of a tongue Bemis, Bemis and Lauder, This species influences the neotropical ecosystem of the Amazon Basin.

Lepidosiren paradoxa prey on some small bony fish, shrimp, clams, snails, and insects Berra, Any role that they play as a prey item is largely unknown. This species does not provide direct economic benefits to humans. It does provide intellectual benefits; lungfish represent an important step in vertebrate evolution and their origin provide insights into the origin of tetrapods Alves-Gomes et al.

There are no known adverse effects of Lepidosiren paradoxa on humans. The abundance of this fish is largely unknown Alves-Gomes et al. Lepidosiren paradoxa was the first living species of lungfish to be formally named Alves-Gomes et al.

There are three living genera of lungfish, NeoceratodusLepidosirenand Protopterus. Fossil evidence has placed some Devonian lungfish in fully marine habitats as well as freshwater deposits Lepidosirenids show a clear vicariance pattern that is consistent with the separation of the African and South American continents during the Cretaceous Because of their relationship with both fish and tetrapods, lungfish are a very important evolutionary step.


More research should be done so that they can be more fully understood. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria. Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons or periodic condition changes. A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows.

In insects, “incomplete metamorphosis” is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and “complete metamorphosis” is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms.

Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis. Verlag fur Natur-und Heimtierkunde GmbH. Accessed September 26, at http: Lepidosirenidae ” On-line pdf.

Accessed October 08, at www.

South American lungfish (Lepidosiren paradoxa) longevity, ageing, and life history

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique. Accessed October 08, at http: Atlas des poissons d’eau douce de Guyane. Help us improve the site by taking our survey. To cite this page: Accessed December 31, at https: The Animal Diversity Web is an educational resource written largely by and for college students.

ADW doesn’t cover all species in the world, nor does it include all the latest scientific information about organisms we describe. Though we edit our accounts for accuracy, we cannot guarantee all information in those accounts.

Parradoxa ADW staff and contributors provide references to books and websites that we believe are reputable, we cannot necessarily endorse the contents of references beyond our control. Lepidosiren paradoxa South American lungfish Facebook.

Orgeig and Daniels, Other Physical Features ectothermic heterothermic bilateral symmetry Sexual Dimorphism sexes alike Range length high cm Berra, Development – Life Cycle metamorphosis Reproduction There is very little information on the mating systems of Lepidosiren paradoxa.

Breeding season Breeding occurs during the rainy months of the year. Communication Channels visual Perception Channels visual Food Habits Lepidosiren paradoxa eat a variety of food items including some bony fishalgae and weeds, terrestrial plants stemsshrimp, insects, clams, and snails Berra, Berra, South American lungfish capture prey by suction feeding. Known Predators There is no information on known predators. Ecosystem Roles This species influences the neotropical ecosystem of the Amazon Basin.

Berra, Economic Importance for Humans: Positive This species does not provide direct economic benefits to humans. Negative There are no known adverse effects of Lepidosiren paradoxa on humans. Glossary Neotropical living in the southern part of the New World.

Lepidosiren paradoxa

In other words, Central and South America. Algae that are large and photosynthetic. Connect with us Help us improve the site by taking our survey. Classification Kingdom Animalia animals Animalia: