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Monday, April 4, 2016

Mudskipper

Photo credit: Uspn 
There are several different species of mudskipper, all belonging to the family of fish known as gobies. Mudskippers are unusual in that they spend most of their time on land, using their large, muscular pectoral fins like a pair of legs to skip over the mud and sand of their habitat.

Mud-skippers are most commonly found in mangrove swamps, where they live in burrows among tree stems and roots. Although some may climb up the trunks and branches of the trees, they dart back down and into their burrows at the first sign of danger.

The trees provide shelter and cover from predators such as gulls and terns.

Some types of mudskippers feed on diatoms (microscopic algae) that live in the mud. To catch them, mudskippers scrape off a thin layer of mud by skimming their heads across its surface.

Other species of mudskippers feed on larger prey, including shrimp, worms, and insects. They also eat crabs, despite the thick shells. But sometimes the mudskippers fall prey themselves to larger crabs.

Did you know? 
  • Mudskippers dig burrows that are 20 inces or deeper by spitting large mouthfuls of mud away from the burrow's entrance. 
  • The mudskipper's eyes are adapted for both above and below water. They can also be moved separately. 
  • Mudskippers do not move with the tide. Instead, they spend most of their time out of water. But at high tide, they can remain completely submerged in their burrows for up to two hours.

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