Can any fish hold its breath?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Q & A -

Yes. For air-breath­ing crea­tures like our­selves, an abil­ity to hold one’s breath is use­ful should one find one­self sub­merged. But coffin­fish, too, rou­tinely hold their breath in wa­ter – for up to four min­utes – even though wa­ter is what they breathe. As sit-and-wait preda­tors, coffin­fish don’t ex­tract oxy­gen as they swim along. In­stead, they must ac­tively in­flate and de­flate their gill cham­bers. These cham­bers are un­usu­ally large, al­low­ing the fish to process a large vol­ume of wa­ter in one go, which may ex­plain how they can af­ford to breathe so in­fre­quently. But there could be more to it. In­fla­tion of the gill cham­bers in­creases body vol­ume by 30 per cent, which may serve to de­ter preda­tors, in much the same way that puffer­fishes ap­pear big­ger by swal­low­ing sea­wa­ter. Stu­art Black­man

Coffin­fish res­pi­ra­tion – re­ally quite breath­tak­ing.

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