New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

 

Lungfish Burrow


Lungfish burrow
Size: 5 feet/1.5 meters long
Age: Early Devonian to Present (400 million years ago to now)
Specimen Number: NMMNH P-50409
Location: Quay County, New Mexico
Image By: Christie Gross
Date: Spring 2008

Today, some lungfish burrow into lake or river bottom mud to wait out dry spells (estivate). Some Triassic lungfish did the same, and casts of their burrows are found as fossils. Notice the slightly helical shape of this fossil burrow and the expanded, bulb-like ending. These are characteristic features of the estivation burrows of living and extinct lungfishes. This creature persisted through Triassic.

See a recreation of a Triassic Lungfish in its burrow here.