The Mudskipper is a completely amphibious fish, and is therefore capable of living on land and water. They are typically found in tropical regions, and are very social and active animals. The mudskipper also has many adaptations that allow it to avoid predators, and survive both in and out of the water.
Mudskippers live on the coast in West Africa, Japan, the Philippines, and the Polynesian Islands. Mudskippers are uniquely adapted to living on the coast, due to their amphibious nature, and ability to breathe and walk outside of the water. Mudskippers use their pectoral fins to “skip” along the ground, giving the mudskipper their name. These fins stick out like a sea lion’s, which allow it to push itself along the ground. Mudskippers can also use their fins to jump into the air. Mudskippers can breathe while out of water, but only while keeping their gills moist. This allows them to continue to be able to extract oxygen from the water. Also, mudskippers have a chamber behind their gills that stores air bubbles, also providing oxygen to the animal. Since mudskippers can only survive out of the water while their gills are moist, they can only live in humid climates, and must stay close to the water. Mudskippers make burrows in the sediments along the coast, where they lay eggs. The mudskippers air chamber can also function under water, specifically in the burrows, where oxygen concentration could be low.
Mudskippers typically eat insects, worms, mussels, small crabs, or other small crustaceans left behind after the tide. In Singapore, the mudskipper is threatened due to habitat loss. In other locations, the mudskipper is not endangered or threatened, but is facing habitat loss. Due to the location of their habitat, these animals are facing problems from pollution and land damage due to humans. During mating season, the male mudskipper’s coloring becomes more intense, and he performs leaps and tricks to impress the female. Male mudskippers will also fight others to show dominance. Once a female and male have chosen to mate, the female will lay her eggs in the male’s burrow, where the male will fertilize and guard the eggs.