Terrifying fish that can walk and breathe on land may threaten Australian wildlife

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Terrifying Fish Walks on Land, Breathes Air, Threatens to Destroy Australia
A terrifying breed of fish could migrate to Australia.

The climbing perch of Papua New Guinea is moving south toward Australia and has many researchers questioning what its impact will be "down under."

Native to south-east Asia, this fish has strong spines on its pectoral fins that enable its body to "walk" across dry land. It travels from waterhole to waterhole, where it seeks refuge and makes home.


It also has an "accessory air-breathing organ" on its dorsal area, allowing it to live on dry land for up to six days. They are even thought to hibernate in mud and wait for water to return.

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Terrifying fish that can walk and breathe on land may threaten Australian wildlife
Dinosaur Bichir Fish
Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus), lying on bottom
Senegal bichir Polypterus senegalus, Polypteridae, Africa
Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus), female
Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus), portrait
Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus), male at the gravel ground among water plants
Senegal bichir Polypterus senegalus, Polypteridae, Africa
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The climbing perch is quite aggressive and is a threat to fish, birds and turtles native to Australia. It has an incredible defense mechanism that pushes out spiky fins which lodge into the throat or stomach of a predator.

It's already been found in two northern Australian outposts — the Torres Strait islands of Boigu and Saibai. Researchers are mostly concerned that this breed of climbing perch is able to sustain its body in both fresh and salt water. In fact, Australia is on high alert and informing fisherman to report any sightings of the climbing perch to marine authorities.

The potential for this fish endangering multiple native species in Australia is of high concern.


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