17 11 2007

hello, this is sihui and i’m here with the research on MUDSKIPPERS


here’s a photo of a mudskipper we saw that day with the teachers

Mudskippers leap extremely quickly. We saw them at labrador that day when doing beach combing with the teachers, leaping around on floating pieces of driftwood, “stoning” for a few seconds, then leaping back into the water. They’re not the prettiest things, but they’re clever. And they look slick and slippery, judging from their “wet look”.


photo no. 2 of mudskipper seen that day!

Unlike hairy crabs and flower crabs, mudskippers do not refer to just one species but rather a number of species of fishes that are related to each other, in the subfamily Oxudercinae. They are generally known for their excellent amphibious abilities and they are mainly found in the Indo-Malayan region. They are rather common, I suppose, but they are difficult to spot as they have an unobtrusive brown colour that seems to camouflage them. you can’t really spot them until they move, quick little darting leaps that they take drawing attention to them.

Unbelievably, mudskippers are, as mentioned before, still FISH! However, they are not ordinary fish! They can “preserve” air bubbles in their gills to keep with them as they go on land, which is what allows them to survive on land for longer periods of time as compared to other completely aquatic fishes.

Some particular species even have cooler adaptations to allow them to last longer out of water. Some species (e.g. Periophthalmodon schlosseri which some laymen call the “giant mudskipper” ) slow down and accelerate their heartbeats when in water and out of water respectively. Also, some species of mudskipper even have the ability to reduce the rate of oxygen consumption rate in water, to the extent that even in hypoxic conditions (where oxygen levels are very, very, very, very low) they can still survive and only produce their lactic acid (a byproduct of anaerobic respiration aka respiration without oxygen to produce energy) after several hours.

And apparently, some species have such amazing abilities to last on land for so long, scientists are considering whether they can be analysed and compared to that to land animals, so that their amphibious nature can be developed in animals such as humans as well!

For more cool information on mudskippers, you can refer to! it’s rather profound though so it might need some time to digest.

*Did you know that NUS has a magazine publication called The Mudskipper? It’s editor is none other than Dr Sivasothi, the person who coined us with the name “Seagrass Angels”

[edit] hello people, sorry for the mistake, according to Dr Sivasothi, the editor of The Mudskipper changes annually! sorry! [/edit]




3 responses

17 11 2007
Justin Sng

Hi Si Hui,

nice account of mudskipper.

Although they are ‘not the prettiest things’. Their body structure manifested various adaptions for their functions in the environment. Hence, they are really really really beautiful in terms of their adaption..

20 11 2007

Hey Si Hui, oops, I was editor of The Mudskipper about two decades ago, it changes each year as new undergrads take over – it is the publication of the Biological Sciences Society, an NUS student society. I think the magazine is now an electronic version only.

My old articles are online, put up to the web by Ria Tan more than 8 years ago!

Nice to see the Seagrass Angels still blogging!

26 10 2011

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

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


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