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Lake Tanganyika is an
African Great Lake
African Great Lake
. It is the second-oldest freshwater lake in the world, the second-largest by volume, and the second-deepest, in all cases after
Lake Baikal Lake Baikal (; russian: Oзеро Байкал, Ozero Baykal ; bua, Байгал далай, Baigal dalai; mn, Байгал нуур, Baigal nuur) is a rift lake A rift lake is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in ...

Lake Baikal
in
Siberia Siberia (; rus, Сибирь, r=Sibir', p=sʲɪˈbʲirʲ, a=Ru-Сибирь.ogg) is an extensive geographical region, constituting all of North Asia, from the Ural Mountains in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east. It has been a part of R ...

Siberia
. It is the world's longest freshwater lake. The lake is shared between four countries—
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
, the
Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR Congo, the DRC, the DROC, or the Congo, and formerly Zaire Zaire (, ), officially the Republic of Zaire (frenc ...

Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC),
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
, and
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia (Bemba language, Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga: ''Cisi ca Zambia''; Lozi language, Lozi: ''Naha ya Zambia''; Chewa language, Nyanja: ''Dziko la Zambia''), ...

Zambia
, with Tanzania (46%) and DRC (40%) possessing the majority of the lake. It drains into the
Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuve Congo, pt, Rio Congo), formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both case ...
system and ultimately into the .


Etymology

"Tanganika" was the name of the lake that
Henry Morton Stanley Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands; 28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904) was a Welsh-American journalist, explorer, soldier, colonial administrator, author and politician who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his sea ...

Henry Morton Stanley
encountered when he was at Ujiji in 1876. He wrote that the locals were not sure about its meaning and conjectured himself that it meant something like "the great lake spreading out like a plain", or "plain-like lake"."I made many attempts to discover whether the Wajiji knew why the lake was called Tanganika. They all replied they did not know, unless it was because it was large, and canoes 'could make long voyages on it. They did not call small lakes Tanganika, but they called them Kitanga. The lake of Usukuma would be called Tanganika, but the little lakes in Uhha (Musunya) would be called Kitanga. Nika is a word they could not explain the derivation of, but they suggested that it might perhaps come from Nika, , an electric fish which was sometimes caught in the lake."A rational definition of Nika I could not obtain until one day, while translating into their language the English words, given in the comparative table of African languages annexed to these volumes, I came to the word 'plain', for which I obtained nika as being the term in Kijiji. As Africans are accustomed to describe large bodies of water as being like plains, 'it spreads out like a plain', I think that a satisfactory signification of the term has finally been obtained, in 'the plain-like lake'." Stanley, H.M., 1899, Through the Dark Continent, London: G. Newnes, Vol. One , Vol. Two Stanley found also other names for the lake among different ethnic groups,like the Kimana, the Iemba and the Msaga.


Geography and geological history

Lake Tanganyika is situated within the
Albertine Rift The Albertine Rift is the western branch of the East African Rift, covering parts of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. It extends from the northern end of Lake Albert (Africa), Lake Albert to the sout ...
, the western branch of the
East African Rift File:East Africa Rift System GPS and stresses.png, Main rift faults, plates, plate boundaries, GPS plate velocities between adjacent blocks and minimum horizontal stress directions The East African Rift (EAR) or East African Rift System (EARS) is ...
, and is confined by the mountainous walls of the valley. It is the largest
rift lake A rift lake is a lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land, apart from any river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another ...
in Africa and the second-largest lake by volume in the world. It is the deepest lake in Africa and holds the greatest volume of fresh water, accounting for 16% of the world's available fresh water. It extends for in a general north–south direction and averages in width. The lake covers , with a shoreline of , a mean depth of and a maximum depth of (in the northern basin). It holds an estimated . The
catchment area In human geography, a catchment area is the area from which a city, service or institution attracts a population that uses its services. For example, a school catchment area is the geographic area from which students are eligible to attend a loca ...

catchment area
of the lake is . Two main rivers flow into the lake, as well as numerous smaller rivers and streams (whose lengths are limited by the steep mountains around the lake). The one major outflow is the
Lukuga River The Lukuga River is a tributary of the Lualaba River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that drains Lake Tanganyika. It is unusual in that its flow varies not just seasonally but also due to longer term climate fluctuations. Location T ...
, which empties into the
Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuve Congo, pt, Rio Congo), formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both case ...
drainage. Precipitation and evaporation play a greater role than the rivers. At least 90% of the water influx is from rain falling on the lake's surface and at least 90% of the water loss is from direct evaporation. The major river flowing into the lake is the
Ruzizi River The Ruzizi (also sometimes spelled Rusizi) is a river, long, that flows from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganyika in Central Africa, descending from about to about above sea level over its length. The steepest gradients occur over the first , where hyd ...
, formed about 10,000 years ago, which enters the north of the lake from
Lake Kivu Lake Kivu is one of the African Great Lakes. It lies on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) ( french: République démocratique du Congo (RDC) ), also known as Congo-Kinshasa, DR ...

Lake Kivu
. The
Malagarasi River The Malagarasi River is a river in western Tanzania, flowing through Kigoma Region, although one of its tributaries comes from southeastern Burundi. It is the second-longest river in Tanzania behind the Rufiji River, Rufiji—Great Ruaha River, Grea ...

Malagarasi River
, which is Tanzania's second largest river, enters the east side of Lake Tanganyika. The Malagarasi is older than Lake Tanganyika, and before the lake was formed, it probably was a headwater of the
Lualaba River The Lualaba River flows entirely within the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the greatest River source, river source (headstream) of the Congo River by volume of water. The Lualaba is long. Its River source, headwaters are in the ...
, the main Congo River headstream. The lake has a complex history of changing flow patterns, due to its high altitude, great depth, slow rate of refill, and mountainous location in a turbulently volcanic area that has undergone climate changes. Apparently, it has rarely in the past had an outflow to the sea. It has been described as "practically
endorheic An endorheic basin (; also spelled endoreic basin or endorreic basin) is a drainage basin A drainage basin is any area of land where precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences Atmospheri ...
" for this reason. The lake's connection to the sea is dependent on a high water level allowing water to overflow out of the lake through the Lukuga River into the Congo. When not overflowing, the lake's exit into the Lukuga River typically is blocked by sand bars and masses of weed, and instead this river depends on its own tributaries, especially the Niemba River, to maintain a flow. Due to the lake's tropical location, it has a high rate of evaporation. Thus, it depends on a high inflow through the Ruzizi out of Lake Kivu to keep the lake high enough to overflow. This outflow is apparently not more than 12,000 years old, and resulted from lava flows blocking and diverting the Kivu basin's previous outflow into
Lake Edward Lake Edward, Rutanzige or Edward Nyanza is the smallest of the African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lakes constituting the part of the Rift Valley lakes in and around the East African Rift. They include ...

Lake Edward
and then the Nile system, and diverting it to Lake Tanganyika. Signs of ancient shorelines indicate that at times, Tanganyika may have been up to lower than its present surface level, with no outlet to the sea. Even its current outlet is intermittent, thus may not have been operating when first visited by Western explorers in 1858. The lake may also have at times had different inflows and outflows; inward flows from a higher
Lake Rukwa Lake Rukwa is an endorheic lake in the Rukwa Valley of southwestern Tanzania. Geography The alkaline Lake Rukwa lies midway between Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi at an elevation of about , in a parallel branch of the rift system. Almost half of ...

Lake Rukwa
, access to
Lake Malawi Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania Tanzania (;This approximates the Kiswahili pronunciation. However, is also heard in English. ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a coun ...

Lake Malawi
and an exit route to the Nile have all been proposed to have existed at some point in the lake's history. Lake Tanganyika is an
ancient lake An ancient lake is a lake that has consistently carried water for more than one million years. Many have existed for more than 2.6 million years, the full Quaternary period. Ancient lakes continue to persist due to plate tectonics in an active rift ...
. Its three basins, which in periods with much lower water levels were separate lakes, are of different ages. The central began to form 9–12 million years ago (Mya), the northern 7–8 Mya and the southern 2–4 Mya.


Islands

Of the several islands in Lake Tanganyika, the most important are: * Kavala Island (DRC) * Mamba-Kayenda Islands (DRC) * Milima Island (DRC) * Kibishie Island (DRC) * Mutondwe Island (Zambia) * Kumbula Island (Zambia)


Water characteristics

The lake's water is
alkaline In chemistry, an alkali (; from ar, القلوي ''al-qaly'' "ashes of the saltwort") is a base (chemistry), basic, ionic compound, ionic salt (chemistry), salt of an alkali metal or an alkaline earth metal. An alkali can also be defined as ...
with a around 9 at depths of . Below this, it is around 8.7, gradually decreasing to 8.3–8.5 in the deepest parts of Tanganyika. A similar pattern can be seen in the
electric conductivity Electrical resistivity (also called specific electrical resistance or volume resistivity) is a fundamental property of a material that quantifies how strongly it resists electric current An electric current is a stream of charged particles, ...
, ranging from about 670 μS/cm in the upper part to 690 μS/cm in the deepest. Surface temperatures generally range from about in the southern part of the lake in early August to in the late rainy season in March—April. At depths greater than , the temperature is very stable at . The water has gradually warmed since the 19th century and this has accelerated with
global warming Contemporary climate change includes both the global warming caused by humans, and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known even ...

global warming
since the 1950s. The lake is
stratified Stratification may refer to: In mathematics: * Stratification (mathematics), any consistent assignment of numbers to predicate symbols * Stratified sampling , Data stratification in statistics In earth sciences: * Stable and unstable stratificati ...
and seasonal mixing generally does not extend beyond depths of . The mixing mainly occurs as
upwelling Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. Winds are commonly classified by their scale (spatial), spatial ...

upwelling
s in the south and is wind-driven, but to a lesser extent, up- and downwellings also occur elsewhere in the lake. As a consequence of the stratification, the deep sections contain "
fossil water Fossil water or paleowater is an ancient body of water that has been contained in some undisturbed space, typically groundwater in an aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of -bearing , rock fractures or unconsolidated materials (, , or ). ...
". This also means it has no
oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element Image:Simple Periodic Table Chart-blocks.svg, 400px, Periodic table, The periodic table of the chemical elements In chemistry, an element is a pure substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same ...

oxygen
(it is
anoxic The term anoxia means a total depletion in the level of oxygen, an extreme form of hypoxia or "low oxygen". The terms anoxia and hypoxia are used in various contexts: * Anoxic waters, sea water, fresh water or groundwater that are depleted of disso ...
) in the deeper parts, essentially limiting fish and other
aerobic organisms An aerobic organism or aerobe is an organism that can survive and grow in an oxygenated environment. In contrast, an anaerobic organism (anaerobe) is any organism that does not require oxygen for growth. Some anaerobes react negatively or even d ...
to the upper part. Some geographical variations are seen in this limit, but it is typically at depths around in the northern part of the lake and in the south.Wright, J.J.; and L.M. Page (2006). Taxonomic revision of Lake Tanganyikan Synodontis (Siluriformes: Mochokidae). Florida Mus. Nat. Hist. Bull. 46(4): 99–154.Lowe-McConnell, R.H. (1987). Ecological Studies in Tropical Fish Communities. . The oxygen-devoid deepest sections contain high levels of toxic
hydrogen sulphide Hydrogen sulfide is the chemical compound A chemical compound is a chemical substance composed of many identical molecules (or molecular entity, molecular entities) composed of atoms from more than one chemical element, element held together b ...
and are essentially lifeless, except for
bacteria Bacteria (; common noun bacteria, singular bacterium) are ubiquitous, mostly free-living organisms often consisting of one Cell (biology), biological cell. They constitute a large domain (biology), domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typ ...

bacteria
.


Biology


Reptiles

Lake Tanganyika and associated wetlands are home to
Nile crocodile The Nile crocodile (''Crocodylus niloticus'') is a large crocodilia Crocodilia (or Crocodylia, both ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cl ...

Nile crocodile
s (including famous giant Gustave), Zambian hinged terrapins, serrated hinged terrapins, and pan hinged terrapins (last species not in the lake itself, but in adjacent lagoons).Spawls, Howell, Drewes, and Ashe (2002). A Field Guide to the Reptiles of East Africa. Academic Press, London. . Storm's water cobra, a threatened
subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
of banded water cobra that feeds mainly on fish, is only found in Lake Tanganyika, where it prefers rocky shores.


Cichlid fish

The lake holds at least 250 species of
cichlid Cichlids are fish from the family (biology), family Cichlidae in the order Cichliformes. Cichlids were traditionally classed in a suborder, the Labroidei, along with the wrasses (Labridae), in the order Perciformes, but molecular studies have co ...
fishWest, K. (prepared by) (2001).
Lake Tanganyika: Results and Experiences of the UNDP/GEF Conservation Initiative (RAF/92/G32) in Burundi, D.R. Congo, Tanzania, and Zambia.
' Lake Tanganyika Biodiversity Project.
and
undescribed species In Taxonomy (biology), taxonomy, an undescribed taxon is a taxon (for example, a species) that has been discovered, but not yet formally described and named. The various Nomenclature Codes specify the requirements for a new taxon to be validly de ...
remain.Mortiff, C
Lake Tanganyika and its Diverse Cichlids.
Cichlid-Forum. Retrieved 1 March 2017.
Almost all (98%) of the Tanganyika cichlids are
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
to the lake and it is thus an important biological resource for the study of
speciation Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species. The biologist Orator F. Cook coined the term in 1906 for cladogenesis, the splitting of lineages, as opposed to anagenesis, phyletic evolution within ...

speciation
in evolution. Some of the endemics do occur slightly into the upper Lukuga River, Lake Tanganyika's outflow, but further spread into the Congo River basin is prevented by physics (Lukuga has fast-flowing sections with many rapids and waterfalls) and chemistry (Tanganyika's water is
alkali In chemistry Chemistry is the study of the properties and behavior of . It is a that covers the that make up matter to the composed of s, s and s: their composition, structure, properties, behavior and the changes they undergo dur ...

alkali
ne, while the Congo's generally is
acid An acid is a or capable of donating a (hydrogen ion H+) (a ), or, alternatively, capable of forming a with an (a ). The first category of acids are the proton donors, or s. In the special case of , proton donors form the H3O+ and are ...
ic). The cichlids of the
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drai ...

African Great Lakes
, including Tanganyika, represent the most diverse extent of
adaptive radiation In evolutionary biology Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular ...
in vertebrates. Although Tanganyika has far fewer cichlid species than Lakes
Malawi Malawi (; or aláwi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of ...

Malawi
and
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...

Victoria
which both have experienced relatively recent explosive species radiations (resulting in many closely related species), its cichlids are the most morphologically and
genetically Genetics is a branch of biology concerned with the study of genes, genetic variation, and heredity in organisms.Hartl D, Jones E (2005) Though heredity had been observed for millennia, Gregor Mendel, Moravia, Moravian scientist and Augustinia ...

genetically
diverse. This is linked to the high age of Tanganyika, as it is far older than the other lakes. Tanganyika has the largest number of
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gro ...
cichlid
genera Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
of all African lakes. All Tanganyika cichlids are in the subfamily
Pseudocrenilabrinae The Pseudocrenilabrinae are a subfamily in the Cichlidae, cichlid family of fishes to which, according to a study from 2004, includes all the Middle Eastern and African cichlids with the exception of the unusual ''Heterochromis multidens'' and the ...
. Of the 10
tribes The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living o ...
in this subfamily, half are largely or entirely restricted to the lake ( Cyprichromini, Ectodini, Lamprologini, Limnochromini and
Tropheini Tropheini is a Tribe (biology), tribe of African cichlids, Endemism, endemic to Lake Tanganyika. The species in this tribe are mouthbrooders. Genera *''Limnotilapia'' *''Lobochilotes'' *''Petrochromis'' *''Pseudosimochromis'' *''Simochromis' ...
) and another three have species in the lake ( Haplochromini, Tilapiini and Tylochromini). Others have proposed splitting the Tanganyika cichlids into as many as 12–16 tribes (in addition to previous mentioned, Bathybatini, Benthochromini, Boulengerochromini, Cyphotilapiini, Eretmodini, Greenwoodochromini, Perissodini and Trematocarini). Most Tanganyika cichlids live along the shoreline down to a depth of , but some deep-water species regularly descend to . '''' species have exceptionally been found at more than , which is deeper than any other cichlid in the world. Some of the deep-water cichlids (e.g., '' Bathybates'', '' Gnathochromis'', '' Hemibates'' and '''') have been caught in places virtually devoid of oxygen, but how they are able to survive there is unclear. Tanganyika cichlids are generally
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
(found at or near the bottom) and/or coastal.Lindqvist, O.V.; H. Mölsä; K. Solonen; J. Sarvala, editors (1999). From Limnology to Fisheries: Lake Tanganyika and Other Large Lakes. pp. 213–214. Springer. No Tanganyika cichlids are truly
pelagic The pelagic zone consists of the water column A water column is a concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy ...
''and'' offshore, except for some of the
piscivorous (''Nerodia sipedon'') eating a fish A piscivore is a carnivore, carnivorous animal that eats primarily fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Th ...
''Bathybates''. Two of these, '''' and '' B. leo'', mainly feed on Tanganyika sardines. Tanganyika cichlids differ extensively in ecology and include species that are
herbivore A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All ...
s,
detritivore Detritivores (also known as detrivores, detritophages, detritus feeders, or detritus eaters) are heterotrophs that obtain nutrients by consuming detritus (decomposing plant and animal parts as well as feces). There are many kinds of invertebrates, ...
s,
planktivore A planktivore is an aquatic organism that feeds on plankton Plankton are the diverse collection of organisms found in Hydrosphere, water (or atmosphere, air) that are unable to propel themselves against a current (or wind). The individual org ...
s,
insectivore A robber fly eating a _.html" ;"title="hoverfly ">hoverfly An insectivore is a Carnivore">carnivorous A carnivore , meaning "meat Meat is animal flesh that is eaten as food. Humans have hunted and killed animals for meat since pre ...
s,
molluscivoreA molluscivore is a carnivore, carnivorous animal that specialises in feeding on Mollusca, molluscs such as gastropods, bivalves, brachiopods and cephalopods. Known molluscivores include numerous predatory (and often cannibalistic) molluscs, (e.g.oc ...
s,
scavenger Scavengers are animals that consume dead organisms that have died from causes other than predation Predation is a biological interaction In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study ...
s, scale-eaters and piscivores. These dietary specializations, however, have been shown to be flexible. That is, many species of Tanganyikan cichlid with specialized diets showed opportunistic, episodic exploitation of '' Stolothrissa tanganicae'' and '' Limnothrissa miodon'' when prey concentrations were unusually high.Their breeding behavior fall into two main groups, the substrate spawners (often in caves or rock crevices) and the
mouthbrooder 190px, A female '' fry which can be seen looking out from her mouth">juvenile_fish.html" ;"title="Cyphotilapia frontosa'' mouthbrooding juvenile fish">fry which can be seen looking out from her mouth Mouthbrooding, also known as oral incubation and ...
s.Schliewen, U. (1992). Aquarium Fish. Barron's Educational Series. . Among the endemic species are two of the world's smallest cichlids, '''' and '''' (both shell dwellers) at up to , and one of the largest, the giant cichlid (''Boulengerochromis microlepis'') at up to . Many cichlids from Lake Tanganyika, such as species from the genera ''Altolamprologus'', ''Cyprichromis'', ''Eretmodus'', ''Julidochromis'', ''Lamprologus'', ''Neolamprologus'', ''Tropheus'' and ''Xenotilapia'', are popular aquarium fish due to their bright colors and patterns, and interesting behaviors. Recreating a Lake Tanganyika biotope to host those cichlids in a habitat similar to their natural environment is also popular in the aquarium hobby. File:Bathybates ferox.jpg, Bathybatini (E): ''Bathybates ferox'' is
benthic The benthic zone is the ecological region at the lowest level of a body of water A body of water or waterbody (often spelled water body) is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to ...
and
piscivorous (''Nerodia sipedon'') eating a fish A piscivore is a carnivore, carnivorous animal that eats primarily fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Th ...
, but the genus also includes pelagic species. The tribe is sometimes split in three, others being Hemibatini and Trematocarini File:Benthochromis tricoti.jpg, Benthochromini (E): ''Benthochromis horii'' was scientifically described in 2008, but has often been misidentifed as ''Benthochromis tricoti, B. tricoti'' File:DKoehl Boulengerochromis microlepis.jpg, Boulengerochromini (E): ''Boulengerochromis microlepis'' is one of the world's largest cichlids and only member of its tribe File:Cyphotilapia frontosa2.jpg, Cyphotilapiini (E): ''Cyphotilapia frontosa'', one of only two similar species in the Tribe (biology), tribe File:Kleinschuppiger Kaerpflingsbuntbarsch Cyprichromis microlepidotus Tierpark Hellabrunn-1.jpg, Cyprichromini (E): ''Cyprichromis microlepidotus'' and other members of this tribe are open-water
planktivore A planktivore is an aquatic organism that feeds on plankton Plankton are the diverse collection of organisms found in Hydrosphere, water (or atmosphere, air) that are unable to propel themselves against a current (or wind). The individual org ...
sSmith, M.P. (1998). Lake Tanganyikan Cichlids, pp. 9-10. File:Ophthalmotilapia nasuta Kipili.jpg, Ectodini (E): ''Ophthalmotilapia nasuta'' (male) is sexually dimorphic, males being more colorful with longer fins and nose File:Eretmodus-sp-kavala1.jpg, Eretmodini (E): ''Eretmodus cyanostictus'' lives near the bottom in the turbulent, coastal surf zone, like other members of its tribe File:Astatotilapia burtoni.png, Haplochromini: ''Astatotilapia burtoni'' is one of the few Tanganyika species, unlike other
African Great Lakes The African Great Lakes ( sw, Maziwa Makuu) are a series of lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a Depression (geology), basin, surrounded by land, and set apart from any river or other outlet that serves to feed or drai ...

African Great Lakes
where most belong to this tribe File:Schachbrett-Schlankcichlide.jpg, Lamprologini (E): ''Julidochromis marlieri'' is popular in the aquarium trade where members of the genus are known as "Julies" File:Gnathochromis premaxillaris.jpg, Limnochromini (E): ''Gnathochromis permaxillaris'' is a Planktivore, zooplanktivore with an unusual protractile mouth File:Perissodus microlepis juvenile in aquarium.jpg, Perissodini (E): ''Perissodus microlepis'', a specialized scale-eating species File:Oreochromis tanganicae (Günther).jpg, Tilapiini: ''Oreochromis tanganicae'' is one of the most common coastal species found in local fish markets File:TropheusspRed200.jpg,
Tropheini Tropheini is a Tribe (biology), tribe of African cichlids, Endemism, endemic to Lake Tanganyika. The species in this tribe are mouthbrooders. Genera *''Limnotilapia'' *''Lobochilotes'' *''Petrochromis'' *''Pseudosimochromis'' *''Simochromis' ...
(E): ''Tropheus moorii'' ("red" Chimba Polymorphism (biology), morph) is highly variable and the Taxonomy (biology), taxonomy of some of the morphs is questionable


Other fish

Lake Tanganyika is home to more than 80 species of non-cichlid fish and about 60% of these are endemic. The open waters of the pelagic zone are dominated by four non-cichlid species: Two species of "Tanganyika sardine" ('' Limnothrissa miodon'' and '' Stolothrissa tanganicae'') form the largest biomass of fish in this zone, and they are important prey for the forktail lates (''Lates microlepis'') and sleek lates (''L. stappersii''). Two additional lates are found in the lake, the Tanganyika lates (''L. angustifrons'') and bigeye lates (''L. mariae''), but both these are primarily benthic hunters, although they also may move into open waters. The four lates, all endemic to Tanganyika, have been overfished and larger individuals are rare today. Among the more unusual fish in the lake are the endemic, Facultative parasite, facultatively brood parasitic "cuckoo catfish", including at least ''Synodontis grandiops'' and ''Synodontis multipunctatus, S. multipunctatus''. A number of others are very similar (e.g., ''Synodontis lucipinnis, S. lucipinnis'' and ''Synodontis petricola, S. petricola'') and have often been confused; it is unclear if they have a similar behavior. The facultative brood parasites often lay their eggs synchronously with mouthbroding cichlids. The cichlid pick up the eggs in their mouth as if they were their own. Once the catfish eggs hatch the young eat the cichlid eggs. Six catfish genera are entirely restricted to the lake basin: ''Bathybagrus'', ''Dinotopterus'', ''Lophiobagrus'', ''Phyllonemus'', ''Pseudotanganikallabes'' and ''Tanganikallabes''.FishBase
Species in Tanganyika.
Retrieved 3 April 2017.
Although not endemic on a genus level, six species of ''Chrysichthys'' catfish are only found in the Tanganyika basin where they live both in shallow and relatively deep waters; in the latter habitat they are the primary predators and scavengers. A unique evolutionary radiation in the lake is the 15 species of ''Mastacembelus'' spiny eels, all but one endemic to its basin. Although other African Great Lakes have ''Synodontis'' catfish, endemic catfish genera and ''Mastacembelus'' spiny eels, the relatively high diversity is unique to Tanganyika, which likely is related to its old age. Among the non-endemic fish, some are widespread African species but several are only shared with the Malagarasi and Congo River basins, such as the Congo bichir (''Polypterus congicus''), goliath tigerfish (''Hydrocynus goliath''), ''Citharinus citharus'', six-banded distichodus (''Distichodus sexfasciatus'') and mbu puffer (''Tetraodon mbu'').


Molluscs and crustaceans

A total of 83 freshwater snail species (65 endemic) and 11 bivalve species (8 endemic) are known from the lake. Among the endemic bivalves are three monotypic genera: ''Grandidieria burtoni'', ''Pseudospatha tanganyicensis'' and ''Brazzaea anceyi''. Many of the snails are unusual for species living in freshwater in having noticeably thickened shells and/or distinct Sculpture (mollusc), sculpture, features more commonly seen in marine snails. They are referred to as thalassoids, which can be translated to "marine-like".Brown, D. (1994). ''Freshwater Snails Of Africa And Their Medical Importance.'' 2nd edition. All the Tanganyika thalassoids, which are part of Prosobranchia, are endemic to the lake. Initially they were believed to be related to similar marine snails, but they are now known to be unrelated. Their appearance is now believed to be the result of the highly diverse habitats in Lake Tanganyika and evolutionary pressure from snail-eating fish and, in particular, ''Platythelphusa'' crabs. A total of 17 freshwater snail genera are endemic to the lake, such as ''Hirthia'', ''Lavigeria'', ''Paramelania'', ''Reymondia'', ''Spekia'', ''Stanleya neritinoides, Stanleya'', ''Tanganyicia'' and ''Tiphobia''. There are about 30 species of non-thalassoid snails in the lake, but only five of these are endemic, including ''Ferrissia tanganyicensis'' and ''Neothauma tanganyicense''. The latter is the largest Tanganyika snail and its shell is often used by small Shell dwellers, shell-dwelling cichlids. Crustaceans are also highly diverse in Tanganyika with more than 200 species, of which more than half are endemic. They include 10 species of freshwater crabs (9 ''Platythelphusa'' and ''Potamonautes platynotus''; all endemic), at least 11 species of small Atyidae, atyid shrimp (''Atyella'', ''Caridella'' and ''Limnocaridina''), an endemic Palaemonidae, palaemonid shrimp (''Macrobrachium moorei''), about 100 ostracods, including many endemics, and several copepods. Among these, ''Limnocaridina iridinae'' lives inside the Mantle (mollusc), mantle cavity of the Unionidae, unionid mussel ''Pleiodon spekei'', making it one of only two known commensal species of freshwater shrimp (the other is the sponge-living ''Caridina spongicola'' from Lake Towuti, Indonesia). Among Rift Valley lakes, Lake Tanganyika far surpasses all others in terms of crustacean and freshwater snail richness (both in total number of species and number of endemics).Segers, H.; and Martens, K; editors (2005). ''The Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems.'' p. 46. Developments in Hydrobiology. Aquatic Biodiversity. For example, the only other Rift Valley lake with endemic freshwater crabs are Lake Kivu and Lake Victoria with two species each.


Other invertebrates

The diversity of other invertebrate groups in Lake Tanganyika is often not well-known, but there are at least 20 described species of leeches (12 endemics),Segers, H.; and Martens, K; editors (2005). ''The Diversity of Aquatic Ecosystems.'' p. 44. Developments in Hydrobiology. Aquatic Biodiversity. 9 sponges (7 endemic), 6 bryozoa (2 endemic), 11 flatworms (7 endemic), 20 nematodes (7 endemic), 28 annelids (17 endemic) and the small hydrozoan jellyfish ''Limnocnida tanganyicae''.


Fishing

Lake Tanganyika supports a major fishery, which, depending on source, provides 25–40% or 60% of the animal protein in the diet of the people living in the region. Currently, there are around 100,000 people directly involved in the fisheries operating from almost 800 sites. The lake is also vital to the estimated 10 million people living in the greater basin. Lake Tanganyika fish can be found exported throughout East Africa. Major commercial fishing began in the mid-1950s and has, together with global warming (limiting the habitat of temperature sensitive species), had a heavy impact on the fish populations, causing significant declines. In 2016, it was estimated that the total catch was up to 200,000 tonnes. Former industrial fisheries, which boomed in the 1980s, have subsequently collapsed.


Transport

Two ferries carry passengers and cargo along the eastern shore of the lake: between Kigoma and Mpulungu and between Kigoma and Bujumbura. * The port town of Kigoma is the railhead for the railway from Dar es Salaam in
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
. * The port town of Kalemie (previously named Albertville) is the railhead for the D.R. Congo rail network. * The port town of Mpulungu is a proposed railhead for
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia (Bemba language, Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga language (Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tonga: ''Cisi ca Zambia''; Lozi language, Lozi: ''Naha ya Zambia''; Chewa language, Nyanja: ''Dziko la Zambia''), ...

Zambia
. On Dec. 12, 2014, the ferry MV ''Mutambala'' capsized on Lake Tanganyika, and more than 120 lives were lost.


History

It is thought that early ''Homo sapiens'' were making an impact on the region during the Stone Age, Stone Age. The time period of the Middle Stone Age to Late Stone Age is described as an age of advanced hunter-gatherers. It is believed they would have caused megafaunal extinctions. There are many methods in which the native people of the area were fishing. Most of them included using a lantern as a lure for fish that are attracted to light. There were three basic forms. One called Lusenga which is a wide net used by one person from a canoe. The second one is using a lift net. This was done by dropping a net deep below the boat using two parallel canoes and then simultaneously pulling it up. The third is called Chiromila which consisted of three canoes. One canoe was stationary with a lantern while another canoe holds one end of the net and the other circles the stationary one to meet up with the net. The first known Westerners to find the lake were the British explorers Richard Francis Burton, Richard Burton and John Speke, in 1858. They located it while searching for the source of the Nile River. Speke continued and found the actual source, Lake Victoria. Later David Livingstone passed by the lake. He noted the name "Liemba" for its southern part, a word probably from the Fipa language, and in 1927 this was chosen as the new name for the conquered German First World War ship ''Graf von Götzen'' which is still serving the lake up to the present time.


World War I

The lake was the scene of two celebrated battles during World War I. With the aid of the ''MV Liemba, Graf Goetzen'' (named after Count Gustav Adolf von Götzen, Gustav Adolf Graf von Götzen, the former governor of German East Africa), the Germans had complete control of the lake in the early stages of the war. The ship was used both to ferry cargo and personnel across the lake, and as a base from which to launch surprise attacks on Allied troops.Giles Foden: ''Mimi and Toutou Go Forth — The Bizarre Battle for Lake Tanganyika'', Penguin, 2004. It therefore became essential for the Allied forces to gain control of the lake themselves. Under the command of Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Spicer-Simson the British Royal Navy achieved the monumental task of bringing two armed motor boats HMS Mimi and HMS Toutou, HMS ''Mimi'' and HMS ''Toutou'' from England to the lake by rail, road and river to Albertville (since renamed Kalemie in 1971) on the western shore of Lake Tanganyika. The two boats waited until December 1915, and mounted a surprise attack on the Germans, with the capture of the gunboat ''Kingani''. Another German vessel, the ''Hedwig von Wissmann (steamship), Hedwig'', was sunk in February 1916, leaving the ''Götzen'' as the only German vessel remaining to control the lake. As a result of their strengthened position on the lake, the Allies started advancing towards Kigoma by land, and the Belgians established an airbase on the western shore at Albertville. It was from there, in June 1916, that they launched a bombing raid on German positions in and around Kigoma. It is unclear whether or not the ''Götzen'' was hit (the Belgians claimed to have hit it but the Germans denied this), but German morale suffered and the ship was subsequently stripped of its gun since it was needed elsewhere. The war on the lake had reached a stalemate by this stage, with both sides refusing to mount attacks. However, the war on land was progressing, largely to the advantage of the Allies, who cut off the railway link in July 1916 and threatened to isolate Kigoma completely. This led the German commander, Gustav Zimmer, to abandon the town and head south. In order to avoid his prize ship falling into Allied hands, Zimmer scuttled the vessel on July 26, 1916. The vessel was later raised in 1924 and renamed MV Liemba, MV ''Liemba'' (see transport).


Che Guevara

In 1965 Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara used the western shores of Lake Tanganyika as a training camp for guerrilla forces in the Congo. From his camp, Che and his forces attempted to overthrow the government, but ended up pulling out in less than a year, as the National Security Agency (NSA) had been monitoring him the entire time and the NSA aided government forces in ambushing his guerrillas.


Recent history

In 1992 Lake Tanganyika featured in the British TV documentary series ''Pole to Pole''. The BBC documentarian Michael Palin stayed on board the MV Liemba, MV ''Liemba'' and travelled across the lake. Since 2004 the lake has been the focus of a massive Water and Nature Initiative by the IUCN. The project is scheduled to take five years at a total cost of US$27 million. The initiative is attempting to monitor the resources and state of the lake, set common criteria for acceptable level of sediments, pollution, and water quality in general, and design and establish a lake basin management authority.


Effects of global warming

Because of increasing global temperature there is a direct correlation to lower productivity in Lake Tanganyika. Southern winds create upwells of deep nutrient-rich water on the southern end of the lake. This happens during the cooler months (May to September). These nutrients that are in deep water are vital in maintaining the aquatic food web. The southerly winds are slowing down which limits the ability for the mixing of nutrients. This is correlating with less productivity in the lake.


Alleged Fijian connection

According to a legend of the indigenous people from some parts of the Fiji islands in the South Pacific Ocean, the Fijians originated from Tanganyika. This myth is thought to have originated in relatively recent decades. However, this hypothesis is not tenable and is contradicted by archaeological, linguistic and genetic evidence.


See also

* 2005 Lake Tanganyika earthquake


References


External links


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Index of Lake Tanganyika Cichlids
*
A Trans-Africa Inland Waterway System?

Democratic Republic of Congo Waterways Assessment
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