Mudskipper

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Mudskippers are are completely amphibious fish, fish that can use their pectoral fins to walk on land. Being amphibious, they are uniquely adapted to intertidal habitats, unlike most fish in such habitats which survive the retreat of the tide by hiding under wet seaweed or in tidal pools. Mudskippers are quite active when out of water, feeding and interacting with one another, for example to defend their territories. They are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions, including the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic coast of Africa. Compared with fully aquatic gobies, these fish present a range of peculiar behavioural and physiological adaptations to an amphibious lifestyle. These include: Anatomical and behavioural adaptations that allow them to move effectively on land as well as in the water. As their name implies, these fish use their fins to move around in a series of skips. They can also flip their muscular body to catapult themselves up to 2 feet (60 cm) into the air. The ability to breathe through their skin and the lining of their mouth (the mucosa) and throat (the pharynx). This is only possible when the mudskipper is wet, limiting mudskippers to humid habitats and requiring that they keep themselves moist. This mode of breathing, similar to that employed by amphibians, is known as cutaneous air breathing. Another important adaptation that aids breathing while out of water are their enlarged gill chambers, where they retain a bubble of air. These large gill chambers close tightly when the fish is above water, keeping the gills moist, and allowing them to function. They act like a scuba diver's cylinders, and supply oxygen for respiration also while on land. And digging deep burrows in soft sediments allow the fish to thermoregulate, avoid marine predators during the high tide when the fish and burrow are submerged, and for laying their eggs. [READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE]





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