FaunaFigures Fishes South American Lungfish
This figure is part of the fourth wave of three models I have had made specifically for the site, as Fauna Figures Fishes. As a fan of primitive and unusal fishes, I wanted to see more species available–so why not have some made!? This wave is of South American species!
These models are not meant as toys, although they are very durable (certainly not bath toys!). They are instead meant as display or diorama models, to help increase the visibility of some less common fish! Each piece is about 4″ long, made of a light-weight resin and painted by sculptor Brandon DeMoss specifically for Fauna Figures, so each one will be a unique individual!
Because every FaunaFigures Fish replica is a custom product and can be made to order, we do allow backorders. If we are out of stock, youcan order one and we will ship your order when everything has arrived. It can take two to three weeks for the FaunaFigures Fish models to be ready. If you have any concerns about timing, or special requests, please contact us prior to ordering.
Lungfishes are are well-known as the fish that breathe air (although they aren’t the only ones). This figure represents the only living South American species, the South American Lungfish, Lepidosiren paradoxa. They are more slender than the West African Lungfish, and similar in length, aboutt 1.2 metres (6 feet) long!
Found in freshwaters in much of South America, the American Lungfish live in slow, stagnant waters, hunting for molluscs, worms, fish, and anything else that they can eat. They need to breathe air as they have functioning lungs, but can carry this ability beyond other air-breathing fish, going so far as burying themselves in mud for several years when their habitat dries (estivation). As long as they can maintain an airway to their burrow, they will survive without food for around three years in this state!
Also notable about lungfish is their unique paired-fin structure. Although the South American (and African) species have evolved much thinner pectoral and pelvic fins, the bones within are almost limb-like, hence their inclusion in the group of fish called lobe-fins (which also includes the coelacanths and many fossil relatives). These thickened limbs were evolutionarily important as a group of these fish–potentially among the lungfish–eventually went on to become the living land-animals we know today as tetrapods.
Lungfish in some form have been on earth since the Devonian, and are known as fossils worldwide. The family that includes the African and South American first appear in the Cretaceous–so they could have been in the same waters as Irritator, Spinosaurus and Sarcosuchus!