SYDNEY – A walking fish that can walk out of water and survive on land for nearly six days could result in a “major disaster” for the wildlife.
The aggressive climbing perch, which has lungs as well as gills, has been discovered in northern Australia.
According to James Cook University researchers, the creature could spell a ‘major disaster’ for Australian wildlife if it thrives there.
The fish was discovered on two small Australian islands in late 2005, about three to four miles south of Papua New Guinea.
The fish can reportedly swell up inside the windpipes of larger fish and birds with a risk of choking them.
“If a larger fish or a bird or some other animal tries to eat the climbing perch, its natural defence is to flex and lock in place those gills,” said Ecologist Nathan Waltham from the James Cook University.
“And in doing that the climbing perch can get caught in the throat and unfortunately in doing that, the animal that’s trying to eat the climbing perch is not going to survive.”
The teams at James Cook University are working to educate fishermen to throw away the fish to avoid it from spreading.
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