By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Lungs Evolve: Lobe-Finned Fish and the Lungfish Ancestor

Lungs Evolve: Lobe-Finned Fish and the Lungfish Ancestor

From Year 0 (BCE/CE): -400000000
Post Date: 04/08/2024

The Dawn of Lungs: In the oxygen-poor waters of the Devonian period, roughly 400 million years ago, or a bit earlier. It was a significant evolutionary leap. A group known as Sarcopterygii were presentd with a formidable challenge in ancient waters that were shallow and variable. It was here that the first lungs emerged. Evolving from structures akin to modern fish’s swim bladders, these early lungs enabled them to extract oxygen directly from the air. This innovation marked a pivotal moment , setting the stage for land vertebrates.

Lung Fish” by Nagyman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Legacy of the Lungfish: Descended from them, the lungfish epitomize the resilience and adaptability of life. Presently represented by six species across Africa, South America, and Australia, lungfish possess both gills and well-developed lungs, enabling them to survive in environments that would be inhospitable to other fish. During dry seasons, some lungfish can aestivate in mud, breathing air through their lungs until water returns. 

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May 26, 2024 Edition
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