African lungfish leg

African lungfish leg

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Credit: TOM MCHUGH/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Lungfish. Close-up of the pelvic fin of an eastern African lungfish (Protopterus amphibius) showing its modification into a rudimentary leg. This fish inhabits the swamps and marshes of eastern Africa. It has a pair of lungs, which it uses to extract oxygen from the air. The swamps in which it lives dry up seasonally, during which time it buries itself in the mud and undergoes a period of dormancy, known as aestivation. The lungfish has been found in the fossil record from the Devonian period, up to 390 million years ago. It has changed little in this time, and is considered to be a "living fossil".

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Keywords: african, air-breathing, animal, aquatic, bony fish, close-up, leg, limb, living fossil, lungfish, nature, pelvic fin, pisces, protopterus amphibius, rudimentary, underwater, wildlife, zoology

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