Subject: Fourth Quarter Report for the period January 1, 1965 to March 31, 1965
Considerable progress was made during this period in the acquisition and the local management of the lungfish.
A. We have apparently achieved a solution to the problem of shipment of large fish from Africa. This was accomplished by the
construction of a small, tin trunk which was then insulated and into which the fish were placed in individual large polyethylene
bags, tightly sealed with sufficient oxygen to last the fish for four days and enough water to keep them wet. In the last
month, we have received two successful shipments of fish utilizing this technique. The routing was rearranged to bypass a
re-shipment at Kennedy International Airport.
B. A major portion of the aquarium at the Colorado State University laboratory of Dr. Frank South, was completed, including
automatic temperature controls, water filters, re-surfacing of tubs and protection devices to prevent the fish from escaping
out of the tubs or through water lines. We now have in residence in the aquarium, twelve lungfish, several of which are large
specimens in the four to six pound category.
During this period, I was successful in forcing artificial estivation on one fish of medium size. This fish had been freshly
received from Africa and it is not known whether he had prepared himself for estivation. In any event, using suitable mud
and weeds, the water level was successfully lowered, gradually forcing him to excavate a tunnel into which he escaped as the
water level fell below the mud surface. This fish was in a state approximating estivation for a period of six weeks, although
he could be aroused by mechanical stimulation of his nose. He died at the end of that period and at autopsy, tissues were
obtained for extraction. The photograph of this specimen is attached.
D. Extracting the plasma and the tissues of the lungfish has proven to be a problem. The methodology for this is being worked
on by Dr. Dalton Jenkins of
the University of Colorado. He has made considerable strides in the chemical processes necessary for separation, extraction
and purification of various fractions. Extractions of both non-estivating and estivating fish are awaiting the completion
of Step E, detailed below.
E. Metabolic chambers are being designed and built at Colorado State University for two purposes: (1) to study changes in
metabolism after the injection of extracts in test guinea pigs; (2) to study the metabolism of the non-estivating and estivating
lungfish. At the present time, it was thought that we would use CO2 production for the first and oxygen consumption for the
F. During the first portion of the coming quarter, attempt will be made to transport to the United States by boat, some large
estivating fish from the Gambia River on the east coast of Africa. These fish are vigorous estivators but are of a different
species of those hitherto obtained, namely, Protopterus annectens.