Hibernation, This Fish Can Live Without Water For Months

%When IKN Comes, Indigenous People Are Worried That Traditions Will Disappear%

A fish has been ‘revived’ with just a splash of water. This video is actually not a new video, but in 2019, which went viral again on the Tiktok and Youtube platforms.

In the video, it is clear how a fish whose body is dry, breathes again when water is poured into its mouth.

This video is not engineered . The fish is the sucking catfish [ Hylostomus plecostomus ], which in Indonesia is often called the sweeper fish, a species that has developed hibernation-like abilities. This species can survive under dry, hardened mud for months, even without access to water until the rains arrive.

The sucker catfish can live up to 30 hours out of water, provided it has enough oxygen in its stomach, quoted from The Science Times . They are highly adaptable, relying on accessory organs, such as gill cavities which allow them to breathe air.

Among aquarists, the nickname is “cleaning fish” because of its ability to clean aquarium glass tubes.


When fish in the water lose protection in the water, their bodies are exposed to the hot sun, causing their scales to dry out and eventually die. However, not with Lungfish, they can survive in an amazing way: drilling mud and being in ‘hibernation mode’ to stay alive.

Lungfish have two sets of respiratory systems. First , gills for the general respiratory system when in water. Second , its lung-like sputum is directly capable of absorbing air and converting it into the oxygen it needs for survival.

This is what makes him survive without water for months, living on the ground waiting for the rainy season. When it rains, these fish start moving from the ground, as if rising from the dead. [ Various sources ]

Coelacanth Ancient Fish

A number of researchers were shocked by the findings of shark hunters in Madagascar, Africa, who accidentally managed to catch an ancient fish that is thought to have lived 400 million years ago. This ancient fish is called coelacanth. They found it in the West Indian, which was previously little known.

The surviving coelacanth was found on an underwater cliff at a depth of between 100 and 500 meters. Fishermen use gill nets calledjarifa; The net is considered to threaten the habitat of these ancient fish because it can penetrate sea depths of up to 100-300 meters.

A study on finding coelacanths in Madagascar conducted by Andrew Coke, et al, published in the South African Journal of Science ,  Vol 117 No 3/4, 2021 , explains why fishermen use these nets. Commercial hunting for shark fins and oil, which began in the 1980s, led fishermen on the southwest coast of Madagascar to use jarifa nets in deeper waters. Surprisingly, it turns out that they got these ancient fish by accident or by-catch.

A few dozen catches may not appear significant, but the coelacanth in the western Indian Ocean is listed as an endangered species. The population is still unknown and the increase in catch frequency is worrisome, especially since actual catch rates with jarifa nets can be much higher than current official records.

A very significant number of coelacanths appeared in the jarifa nets off the coast of Tanga in Tanzania, when 19 coelacanths were caught in a six-month period between 2004 and 2005. This included six catches in one night.

Coelacanths in Indonesia

Coelacanth is a living fossil of which there are currently two species remaining on earth, namelyLatimeria chalumnae[Africa] andLatimeria menadoensis[Sulawesi, Indonesia]. Coelacanthbelongs to a group of ancient fishSarcopterygii[lobe-finned fish] that live and develop at a depth of about 100 meters.

The coelacanth group is very closely related to lungfish and tetrapods , compared to finfish in general.

Previously, this fish was only known by its fossil appearance, which was considered extinct towards the end of the Cretaceous period [66 million years ago], until finally living specimens were found, the first species in December 1938 in South Africa.

The first specimen was studied by the museum curator, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, until it was finally described as a new species, Latimeria chalumnae , by ichthyologist Professor JLB Smith.

Several years later, other specimens in the West Indian Ocean were found in Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, iSimangaliso Wetland Park and Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.

The second species was discovered for the first time by Mark V. Erdmann in 1997, at the North Sulawesi fish market. Then, the second specimen was caught again by fishermen in 1998 which was then described as a new species with the name Latimeria menadoensis , [Pouyaud et al., 1999 ]The discovery of Coelacanth species in Indonesia has opened the understanding of researchers that the distribution of this fish is very wide, not only in Africa.

In Indonesia, on July 1 2018, a coelacanth fish was accidentally found by a man named Santoso, a member of the Sorong City Fishing Mania Club and a member of the Defense Marine Battalion XIV Base Sorong.

The population of Raja Ampat has added to the map of the distribution of coelacanth ancient fish in the world and in the Indonesian archipelago. Thus, populations from Indonesia can be found in the waters of Manado-North Sulawesi, Biak-Papua and Raja Ampat-West Papua.

Coelacanth  is thought to have existed since the Devonian Period about 400 million years ago. This period is also called the Age of Fishes which refers to the evolution of several groups of fish.

Why is it called ancient fish? This is because fish whose age no longer exists have become fossils. While  the coelacanth  is still alive today.

Ancient Coelacanth Fish Found in Raja Ampat, Is it a New Species?

July 1 2018. Santoso, a member of the Defense Marine Battalion XIV Sorong Base, fishing in Waigeo waters, Raja Ampat, West Papua. Unexpectedly, the bait was struck by a unique fish. The next day, July 2 2018, Santoso, who is also a member of the fishing mania club in Sorong City, uploaded the fish he caught on Facebook.

On the social media, Santoso asked about the type of fish found and the agency to contact to report the find. The Sorong Coastal and Marine Resources Management Workshop (PSPL) welcomed the information, and confirmed that according to its morphology it was a coelacanth or ancient fish.

The Sorong PSPL Workshop assigned a team to meet Santoso, as well as conduct a shopping mall or investigation. “Pak Santoso thinks the fish is goropa or grouper. Unfortunately, the fish has already been filleted or cut and cooked. What remains is the head and some meat,” said Kadarusman, lecturer and researcher from the Sorong Maritime and Fisheries Polytechnic, telling Mongabay Indonesia chronology , 18 December 2018.

To ensure that this fish is a Coelacanth , the Sorong PSPL Loka is also coordinating with the Sorong Marine and Fisheries Polytechnic and the UPT of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries in Sorong City. It was agreed that there needed to be a DNA test coordinated directly by Kadarusman.

“After we did a molecular genetic analysis, it was proven that it was indeed an ancient fish or coelacanth ,” said Kadarusman.

The doctor from the Universite de Toulouse, France explained that based on kinship analysis, this Raja Ampat specimen was indeed a Coelacanth with the Genus Latimeria, Family Latimeriidae, Order Coelacanthiformes, Class Sarcopterygii, and Phylum Chordata . The analysis also shows that the Coelacanth large group is divided into two: the African (West Indian Ocean) group and the Indonesian group. Interestingly, the Indonesian group is further divided into two sub-groups, namely Manado and Raja Ampat.

In the context of evolutionary groups, phylogenetic trees help to examine who is close to whom (closest relatives). Phylogenetic analysis also confirms that the Coelacanth group forms a separate group pattern that is separate from other animals. In several scientific publications, using genomic analysis (> 10 genes) it is reported that coelacanths have a very close kinship system with lungfishes and animalia with four-legged tetrapods.

Not a new species

Kadarusman explained, when examined further, the Raja Ampat specimens form a separate subgroup which is quite far apart and significant from the Manado population. Based on this evidence, he stressed, the Raja Ampat specimens are a different population ( new population ). Considering that complete specimens of the Raja Ampat population were not obtained, based on the zoological nomenclature dictum , the systematic dictum and the taxonomical rules dictum , this population is not a new species.

The body surface of the Raja Ampat Coelacanth is blackish brown mixed with dark gray, there are cloudy white dots that spread from the gill cover ( operculum ) to the base of the tail ( hypural junction ). This distinctive color pattern resembles the population of Manado, but is very different from the population of eastern Africa which tends to be dark blue (when fresh) then turns dark gray over time.

This Raja Ampat specimen measures approximately 995.70 mm in length, 247.67 mm in height, 124.31 mm in head length, and 163.43 mm in tail stem height. The length of the first fin on the composition of the front dorsal fin is 137.40 mm with a total of 18 rows of vertical scales.

Kadarusman continued, the evolutionary genetic distance between the populations of Raja Ampat and Manado, in Sulawesi, was recorded at more than 1 percent. This indicates that the population of Raja Ampat is a separate population that has been separated since 6-8 million years ago.

Detailed comparisons of genetic distances were published in the Journal of Marine Biology (October 2010) , by Kadarusman and friends (Sudarto et al ., 2010) in collaboration with KKP, LIPI, Unsrat Manado, Marine and Fisheries Service of North Sulawesi Province and IRD. The article is entitled: Mitochondrial genomic divergence in coelacanths (Latimeria): Slow rate of evolution or recent speciation?

The threat of plastic waste

Based on the explanation of Kadarusman, this unique fish is nocturnal piscivores , when looking for food with a unique style of passive drift feeders . On the African continent, the threat to their lives is being caught accidentally when fishermen catch oilfishes ( Ruvettus pretiosus ).

Another threat is the breadth and massive distribution of plastic waste that turns into microplastics in the oceans, from the surface to the bottom of the waters. Microplastic particles can be accidentally ingested by coelacanth brooders and chicks . The content of microplastics in the gastrointestinal tract of fish can cause inflammation (imflammation) of the intestine, which will gradually reduce appetite, malnutrition and cause mortality.

“ Coelacanth attracts the attention of many people, from scientists, conservationists to unique fish travelers. The discovery of its population in Raja Ampat is a very good and wise momentum to continue to increase efforts to protect habitats, and human awareness to protect the oceans and their contents towards Raja Ampat as a special destination in tropical waters,” said Kadarusman.

The coelacanth is the only living fossil lefton Earth. It is estimated that it has existed since the Devonian Age around 400 million years ago or also called the Fish Age which refers to the evolution of several groups of fish. Previously, the existence of this type was only known from fossils. Until finally on December 22, 1938, he really looked real, alive, in Muara Chalumna, South Africa. This type is called   Latimeria chalumnae.

July 30, 1998, a living specimen of    the Coelacanth    was caught in fishermen’s nets in the waters of Manado Tua Island, North Sulawesi, part of the group of islands that make up the Bunaken National Park. Before it was discovered that it was an ancient fish, local people sold it at the Bersehati Fish Market, Manado, in 1997.

The exciting thing about    the Coelacanth    finding is that it was confirmed as a new species, namely    Latimeria menadoensis.   Of course, based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA and isopopulation that has been done by researchers. The basic difference between L. menadoensis    and    L. chalumnae    is in the dorsal area of ​​the lower body and scales that extend to the tail.

Based on the IUCN Red List , the L. chalumnae speciesis Critically Endangered considering the significant rate of decline in its population from time to time. Meanwhile, the species L. menadoensis known as the sea king fish is categorized as Vulnerable.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *