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Skipping fish

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 8.02.12

Mudskippers are fish. Yet, they spend most of their life outside water and are even capable of moving on land! In fact, they are faster on land than in water.

Mudskippers are found in muddy, tidal areas. During high tide, they rest on rocks, roots or anything they can perch on. During low tide, they search for food. They use their large, strong front fins like legs. They move by supporting themselves on their gill plates and pushing their fins and tails. They can also flip their bodies to skip across mud and water.

The gills of mudskippers — which help them breathe in water — dry out and stick together when they are on land. However, they have special cavities behind their ears, where they store sea water. When they rotate their eyes — situated on the top of their heads — they mix this water and re-oxygenate it. This moistens their gills and make them work properly again.

Special Mention Sanctuary Wildlife Awards, 2011

Picture by Saurabh Desai

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