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Nature has everything weird that you can imagine and everything that you cannot imagine. Mudskipper fish is one such gift of nature to us. In this article on Mudskipper fish facts, you are going to learn something so freaking insane that you will have hard time to digest the fact that something like that can actually exist on this planet. So, let us begin but before we list the facts, here is a quick table that you might want to read…

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Osteichthyes
Subclass Actinopterygii
Superorder Acanthopterygii
Order Perciformes
Suborder Gobiodei
Family Gobiidae
Subfamily Oxudercinae
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Let’s begin…

Mudskipper Fish Facts: 1-5

1. Mudskipper is an amphibious fish. Yes, it lives in water and also spends a significant amount of its time (in daily life) out of water.

2. They come from the Gobi family and actually there are 32 species of mudskipper fish distributed over 10 different genera.

3. One of the most fascinating facts about mudskipper fish is that they do not only walk on land but also they can climb rocks and trees.

4. The question is, how do mudskippers walk? They make use of their pelvic fins along with the pectoral fins for walking on land.

5. Their pelvic fins are like suckers. It is because of this they are capable of climbing various structures including trees and rocks and are also capable of jumping up to 2 feet in air.

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Mudskipper Fish Facts 6-10

6. When it comes to walking, these fish make use of type of movement known as ‘crutching’. This name is given because their pectoral fins resemble a pair of crutches.

7. The pectoral fins of mudskippers pull the body forward by moving forward at the very same time. This is unlike usual legs. This movement resembles that of crutches.

8. Mudskippers have eyes that resemble the eyes of frogs. The eyes are large and sit atop their blunt heads.

9. These protruding eyes are capable of moving independently of each other. Because of this independent movement of their eyes, the mudskipper fish are very much capable of looking below water surface and above water surface at the very same time.

10. Their bodies have the shape resembling the shape of a torpedo. They grow up to 10 inches in length. The shortest they can grow is up to 2.75 inches.

Mudskipper Fish Facts: 11-15

11. Mudskippers are uniquely adapted to survive on land when the tide retreats (that is during low tides). This is possible because of their cutaneous air breathing.

12. Simply put, the mudskippers are capable of breathing when they are out of the water. One may think that they have specialized breathing organs for this but that’s not true.

13. They are basically capable of absorbing oxygen through their skin, through their throat (pharynx) and also through the mucosa (a lining in their mouth).

14. Yet another unique breathing adaptation is that gill chambers are enlarged, allowing them to retain air bubbles. These gill chambers are shut close very tightly when they get out of water.

15. The chambers are shut tightly because of the ventromedial valve that is present in their gill slit. This allows the fish to keep the gills moist while operating outside water.

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Mudskipper Fish Facts: 16-20

16. Whatever the unique breathing adaptations be, mudskippers invariably need to stay moist. If they can’t stay moist or wet, they cannot operate outside the water. This explains why these fish are restricted in habitats that humid.

17. Talking of habitat, mudskippers are usually found in mangrove swamps, estuaries and tidal mudflats where they can at least remain moist when the tide retreats.

18. They can be found in coastal waters of Indian Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. They can be found in both tropical waters and subtropical waters that have varying degree of salinity. They are also found in temperate regions.

19. They are fish but ironically it turns out that they are actually very active when they are outside the water. This is the time when they will feed and also interact with each other. They can actually court potential partners in order to defend their own territories.

20. Mudskippers are often found digging burrows in soft mud. The burrows they build are usually of either V shape or U shape or J shape.

Mudskipper Fish Facts: 21-25

21. There are various reasons why mudskippers dig burrows. The first use is that of thermoregulation. Yes, mudskippers thermoregulate themselves by entering their burrows.

22. The other use of the burrows is to protect themselves from marine predators during high tides. When high tide comes in, they will get inside their burrows. The water keeps the burrows and the fish submerged, preventing predation.

23. Finally, these burrows are the places where these fish lay their eggs. The idea again is to prevent predators from eating up their eggs.

24. One really interesting mudskipper fish facts is that there are certain species that will maintain a pocket of air in their burrows. They do this to breathe when the oxygen concentrations fall.

25. Mudskippers are known for being territorial. They maintain their territories by building wall-like ridges on the land.

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Mudskipper Fish Facts: 26-30

26. Mudskippers are known for having special cavities right behind their ears. These cavities are used for storing sea water. When out on land, they will usually rotate their big eyes when their gills begin to dry up.

27. This rotation of eyes put pressure of the cavities holding sea water. As that happens, the water reoxygenates and then lubricates the gills and prevent them from completely drying up.

28. Mudskippers are carnivores. They usually eat worms, small fish, crustaceans and insects.

29. They cannot spend too much time under water. This can kill they. They are often found resting on top of rocks and tree roots or trunks that are above the water surface.

30. The most widespread species of mudskippers is Periophthalmus argentilineatus. They are found in mudflats and mangrove ecosystems and can be commonly spotted in Sundarbans of Bengal, Madagascar, East Africa, Northern Australia, Southeast Asia, Southern Japan and Southeast China.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Image Credit: By Bjørn Christian Tørrissen – own photo. See more travel photos by the uploader at, GFDL, Link

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