on the brink
Where do I even begin for this fish? In mangrove forests, I suppose. Mudskippers can be found there performing the following remarkable stunts:
1. The Anti-Fish
For this act, mudskippers emerge from the water, perch on air-exposed roots and breathe through their skin (a.k.a. cutaneous air breathing).
2. The Skip-To-My-Lou
Yes, mudskippers skip on mud. They skip along the intertidal areas of mangroves and mudflats. Skipping is made possible by the unique morphology of their pectoral fin – it is shaped like a bent arm.
3. The Angry Mime
When tempers flare, a mudskipper’s skips turn into acrobatic lunges. Fighting males heroically (and hilariously) leap at each other while silently yelling. What’s all the fuss about? Maybe access to the best hole in the mud. Mudskippers live in muddy burrows and females lay their eggs there.
4. The Googly Eye
Mudskippers have to make sure no part of their body dries out. To keep eyes moist, the eyeballs are popped back into their water-filled eye sockets.
5. The Tongue Twister
Under water, fish normally suck in water to capture prey. So how does a fish feed on land? A magical water tongue! Mudskippers bubble out stored water from their mouth onto the food, slurp the water and food back into their mouth and then swallow.