Social media activists re-circulated a video of a fish living in the desert, as the speaker in the video showed himself carrying a fish in the middle of the desert near Wadi Al-Rama, which confirms that these fish live in summer hibernation for many years.
Dr. Ali Al-Sheikhi, CEO of the Fisheries Sector Development, confirmed to Al-Arabiya.net that this type of fish is called catfish, or catfish, or cat fish, and it is named by this name because it has 4 pairs of tentacles or antennae at the front of the head that are similar to cats. In which.
He said, “Catfish have a false lung that helps them stay outside the surface of the water for about 8 hours, and since they are among the fish that live in lakes in the north of the equator, they are exposed to dry seasons during the summer, so God gave them the ability to adapt and produce a sticky layer around them.” It itself enables it to reduce vital processes, and thus maintain body moisture and stay alive throughout the dry period of approximately 8 months, and this process is similar to what is found in reptiles and amphibians in what is called the hibernation period.
He added, “After the period of drought and rainfall has passed, it senses this through its antennae or tentacles, and begins to go out and swim with the water current in search of food, and this is what happened in Wadi al-Ruma in the past years.”
The marine environment expert at the National Center for Wildlife Development, Dr. Ibrahim Qabil Al-Harthy, indicated that the North African catfish, or “African catfish”, is native to Africa and has spread to many countries of the world, whether in Asia, Europe and South America for the purposes of fish farming. It was recorded in Wadi Hanifa and Wadi al-Rumma.
He also added, “The widespread section was several years ago in Wadi Al-Rama, where this fish was also introduced to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia mainly for fish farming purposes, and this fish spread in farms in the Qassim region, and at the time of floods, these fish move with torrents or escape from fish farms until They end up in dry places.”
He continued, “This fish has special adaptations that make it reside in those desert areas, which people find as shown in the clip, as it tolerates the harsh environmental conditions, which made it par excellence in many environments and succeeds in farming operations according to the least operational capabilities, as it has Special organs attached to their gills enable them to breathe atmospheric air directly, which enables them to stay in shallow water during periods of drought without the need for water to exchange gases for breathing through gills, or when they are very active and need additional oxygen.These fish may die if they remain for long periods without water. upon reaching dry locations.
He pointed out, “The Kingdom in general has a scarce variety of freshwater fish, and there are in Saudi Arabia in the western and southwestern part approximately 8 original species of freshwater fish, some of which are threatened with extinction, and the arrival of African catfish or other intrusive species to the scope of distribution and spread of water fish.” The purebreds in the natural valleys are considered one of the threats to them.