Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mudskipper vs crab

About a month ago we went to an area of Korea called Jellomnam-do. It is considered one of the most traditional areas of Korea. While we were there, we visited a National Reserve. The national reserve had bridges traversing long green blades of grass, some type of rice paddies. Within the inter-circles lived strange fish called mudskipper that have actually evolved to live amphibiously and walks on land. We spent hours just watching these bizarre creatures. Well... not hours, but we couldn't stop watching them. I had never seen a fish crawl with it's fins out of water. They were nothing short of fascinating. They lived amongst crabs, mostly in peace. If a passerby didn't but take a quick glance, they might see nothing but mud. A second glance demonstrated that the mud was moving. With further observation, one could see that it wasn't mud moving but these crabs and mud skippers habituating and caked in the wet dirt. At the bottom of the post, I have posted a short video of an interaction between the crab and mud skipper. The mud skipper who actually doesn't move a whole lot, flares his dorsal fin in aggression. It is quite exciting for nerds such as ourselves. I hope you enjoy. Also, if you want to learn more about the mud skippers, read below.

This info was taken from scienceray

The mudskipper holds water in its gills in order to “breathe” out of water. The fish’s pectoral fins act as arms that have well-developed muscles to carry the mudskipper’s body. Using the pectoral fins and tail, the mudskipper crawls and flaps its body across land in search of food. These fish eat spiders and insects – prey that is not usually found in the sea.

Not only can mudskippers walk on land, they can also leap in the air to heights of half a meter (around two feet), by bending and suddenly straightening their bodies. The mudskipper is also known for climbing mangrove trees in search of food. Because of these unusual actions, mudskippers have also been called kangaroo fish, climbing fish, mudhopper and johnny jumpers.

Part of the mudskipper courtship ritual takes place on land, with the male doing ‘push-ups’ to reveal his golden chest and chin to the female.

Mudskippers take in oxygen through the water stored in the gill cavities and through the skin. Because they also breathe through the skin, mudskippers need to remain moist and will often roll in puddles while on land. Their eyes are particularly sensitive to drying out and the mudskipper use a wet fin to dampen them. Another method that the mudskipper uses to moisten its eyes is to retract the eyes into the eye-sockets.

During the Devonian period of evolution, the first fish evolved legs and crawled onto land. This rapid evolution allowed the fish to search for new homes when their previous residence threatened to dry up.

To watch the video click here.


bettyl said...

That is a great vid and I learned something in the process!!Thanks for the post.

Daisy said...

I love your life - dedicated to serving. For over 4 years I have been searching for an opportunity to get away from it all and go serve. I haven't been able to afford it yet ): But I am still searching and hoping!!

Thanks for having this blog and for sharing interesting information. I had no idea what the differences were between a mudskipper and a crab - very cool!!

tomato_alex said...

thank you very much for your information and the video! i am a big fan of mudskipper too!

i found a cartoon using mudskipper as their characters, let me share with you