Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s resident lung fish have contributed to an important study on new methods of working out the age of live lungfish.
The Australian Lung Fish is a vulnerable, ancient species of freshwater fish found in South East Qld and North East NSW. They belong to the oldest living group of vertebrates dating back 300 million years with the Australian Lungfish remaining unchanged for the last 100 million years. Lungfish breathe air freely and can survive out of water for several days if kept wet. They are thought to be an important link in evolution of terrestrial invertebrates.
As part of a study conducted by SEQ water on Australian Lungfish behaviour, demographics, population and ecology, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s resident lungfish were caught, measured and weighed, and before releasing, had a single scale removed. The removal of a scale has no detrimental effect on the fish and this contribution will help to validate SEQ water’s new findings.
Currumbin’s reptile Supervisor Michael Vella notes, “The key to finding out the age of the lung fish is in its scales. By using chemical markers, researchers can tell how old a fish is from a carbon pattern in the scale, similar to the growth rings of a tree.”
Visitors can view the Lung Fish daily in Blinky Bill’s Home Tree, where Michael keeps them safe and healthy.