The Mudskipper is not like most fish. It spends most of its life out of water and is truly an air breathing fish. It belongs to one of the largest groups of fishes known as ‘gobies’ and is found in Indo-Pacific regions and the tropical western coast of Africa. Although this fish may seem out of place on land, it actually thrives in marshlands and mudflats. When the tide is low and the mudflats are uncovered, the mudskipper can emerge and perform activities such as, making burrows, defending territories, performing courtship displays and foraging. Considering that it is indeed a fish, it has had to adapt to the challenging intertidal environment  in order to survive.

Whilst the fish has not ‘escaped’ the water, it has evolved mechanisms to reduce competition with other fish, which has allowed it to thrive on land. Some of its adaptations include modifications of its morphology such as its skeleton, muscles and gill structure.


Adaptation to land

Moving about

  • Modifications of its fins


  • Gill structure and hyper- vascularization of epithelial tissues
  • Breathable skin


-mating displays (jumping 2ft into the air) and effect on respiration

how mating is different on land


Territory (if benefits mating put in above)

  • fighting and competition







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