Bizarre moment mystery sea beast 'wakes from the dead' with splash of waterMay 31, 2022
THIS is the extraordinary moment a dry mystery sea creature came back to life with a splash of water.
In the footage posted on Reddit, what looks like a mummified catfish is seen breathing for the first time through its mouth as water is poured on its body.
Whilst the video is astonishing, the suckermouth catfish – also known as the common pleco – is a species that has developed an ability to switch to a hibernation-like mode.
That allows the species to survive under dried hardened mud for months without water until the rain comes.
Unlike many fish, plecos can also live up to 30 hours outside water if they store enough oxygen in their abdomens.
An extremely adaptable species, air-breathing freshwater Suckermouth catfish weighs up to 3 lb and relies on an accessory organ associated with the gill cavity that allows the pleco to breathe air.
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Indeed, they use their gills for respiration and they go to the surface to breathe air when less oxygen is present in the water.
The air-breathing freshwater Suckermouth catfish is native to northern South America and is named after its specialised mouth, which resembles a suction cup.
And plecos aren't the only air-breathers.
African lungfish have also adapted to living on the edge – as their name indicates.
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Whilst they rely on gills that interact with functional lungs to supply oxygen, they have also adjusted to living through periods of drought by creating little tunnels underground or in the mud.
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The little pods retain moisture around their bodies whilst allowing enough air to circulate around them to allow them to breathe – with no water needed.
Incredibly, the African lungfish can live out of the water for up to four years.
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