In the video, a man can be seen standing in a Saudi desert holding an alive catfish in his hand. The fish seems to be hibernating in the summer season in the desert.
Catfish or Silver Fish
Dr. Ali Al-Sheikhi, who is the current CEO of Fisheries Sector Development, said that it is a ‘catfish’. Such a fish is also known as ‘silver fish’ or ‘qarmut fish’. It has 4 joints, its front head has an antenna-like structure and it has a face similar to that of a cat.
It has false lungs
The main feature of the catfish is that it has false lungs. Which enables them to live without water and on dry surfaces for about 8 hours. They are found in the lakes that are north of the equator.
Can live without water for 8 months
However, they are vulnerable in the summer and dry seasons. They can absorb moisture and lock it up in their silver shells. Thus enabling them to live without water for about 8 months.
Thus, they are Fish, yet their bodies function like reptiles that can live in both water and on land. Their hibernation period is the time they seek shelter in water.
A;-Sheikhi also briefed that once the rain is over, the fish comes to the land in search of food. It uses its tentacles to do so. This is why such fish is found in the deserts of Wadi al-Ramah.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Harithi, who is a marine ecologist at the National Center for Wildlife Development, claims such a fish is a common sight in Asia, Europe, and South America. In Saudi Arabia, however, it has only been witnessed at Wadi Hanifa and Wadi Al-Ramma.
He also told that fish has been introduced in Saudi Arabia for the sake of Fish farming. Many years from now, these fish were also introduced in the Wadi al-Rama. You can see them at the farms in the Qasim area. During floods, they move and get displaced.