Friday, December 12, 2008

Florida Gar

Lepisosteus platyrhincus inhabits medium to large lowland streams, canals, and lakes with muddy or sandy bottoms, and must be near abundant underwater vegetation. Like all gars, L. platyrhincus uses an air bladder to breathe air to survive in poorly oxygenated or stagnant water that is intolerable to most other fish. Typically occurring between 43 to 28 degrees North, L. platyrhincus is subtropical, demersal and is also tolerant of brackish and estuarine environments.

The Tamiami Canal is a good example of the versatility and adaptability of L. platyrhincus. It is less developed than most, thus having fewer pollutants from urbanization. However, there are still some very stressful environmental conditions. The canal itself is extremely shallow, with high water temperatures, low dissolved oxygen levels, and low flow rates. Despite these overall poor conditions, Florida gars continue to be abundant in the Tamiami Canal.

Florida gars can be found at any depth in the habitats they occupy, from the surface to the bottom of the water body. (Agbayani, 2005; Conservation Commission, 1998; Schultz, 2004)(read more)

Photo by Juan Aguero (juanKa)
Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park
Camera Canon 40D, lens Canon 100-400 mm L IS

Photo by Juan Aguero (juanKa)
Everglades National Park
Camera Canon 40D, lens Canon 17-40 mm L

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