NANFA-- Snakeheads on Ice

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Wed, 17 Dec 2003 00:06:12 -0500


Snakeheads- the cold hardy species- would survive underwater the same as
any other obligate air breathers such as frogs and turtles which
hibernate at the bottom of frozen ponds and marshes. Turtles use a
cloacal gill- literally breathe thru their bung holes while amphibians
breathe thru their skins. With their metabolic demands reduced by lower
temperatures and the higher oxygen content of cold water they get along
quite well that way until Spring.

Since Snakehead fishes still have gills, they ought to function in
similar fashion when the temperature is very low. I wonder if their
obligation to breathe air is really an obligation or just an option for
dealing with circumstances where the temperature is high and oxygen
content of the water is low?

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