Queensland Lungfish

The Queensland lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri (also known as the Australian lungfish, Burnett salmon, and barramunda) is the sole surviving member of the family Ceratodontidae and order Ceratodontiformes. It is one of only six extant lungfish species in the world. Endemic to Australia, the Ceratodontidae is an ancient family belonging to the subclass Sarcopterygii, or fleshy-finned fishes.

Fossil records of this group date back 380 million years, around the time when the higher vertebrate classes were beginning to evolve. Fossils of lungfish almost identical to this species have been uncovered in northern New South Wales, indicating that Neoceratodus has remained virtually unchanged for well over 100 million years, making it a living fossil and one of the oldest living vertebrate genera on the planet.

It is one of six extant representatives of the ancient air-breathing Dipnoi (lungfishes) that flourished during the Devonian period (c. 413-365 million years ago) and is the most primitive surviving member of this lineage. The five other freshwater lungfish species, four in Africa and one in South America, are very different morphologically to N. forsteri. The Queensland lungfish can live for several days out of the water, if it is kept moist, but will not survive total water depletion, unlike its African counterparts.

The small settlement of Ceratodus, Queensland derives its name from that of the Queensland lungfish.

Read more about Queensland LungfishRange and Distribution, Habitat, Physical Description, Breathing, Reproduction and Development, Diet and Feeding Habits, Conservation Status, Recent Events

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Barramunda - Conservation Status
... Although the status of the Queensland lungfish is secure, it is a protected species under the Queensland Fish and Oyster Act of 1914 and capture in the wild is strictly prohibited ... The lungfish is currently protected from fishing and collection for education or research purposes requires a permit in Queensland, under the Fisheries Act of 1994, and from the ... Human activities currently threaten the Queensland lungfish, particularly water development ...
Queensland Lungfish - Recent Events
... the Mary and Burnett rivers threaten the habitat of the remaining lungfish ... become involved in saving the habitat for these lungfish, citing their evolutionary importance ...
Mary River (Queensland) - Traveston Crossing Dam
... In light of the region's longest drought in one hundred years, the Queensland Government announced on April 27, 2006 its intention to dam part of the Mary River at Traveston Crossing, south of Gympie ... of one of the few remaining habitats for the vulnerable Queensland Lungfish ... More than 20,000 residents formally petitioned the Queensland State Parliament to halt the dam ...