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Leaping Land Blennies

by TFH Magazine on August 31, 2011 at 5:34 am

By David E. Boruchowitz

An article published last week reports on a land-dwelling blenny, Alticus arnoldorum, that is so terrestrial in its habits that researchers never saw one voluntarily enter the water.

Photo: Gina Cooke, UNSW

Blenny species, like the similar gobies that include the various mudskippers, can be fully aquatic, amphibious, or terrestrial. What is so interesting about terrestrial fishes is that they provide insights into how life moved from the sea to land. Although the evolution of land animals occurred long ago and left no known living representatives, it required solutions to many of the same challenges these modern species meet. Whether convergent evolution or complete innovation, their adaptations are intriguing. As just one example, it fascinates me that both this blenny and mudskippers have high leaps as part of their courtship display.

Posted in Uncategorized by TFH Magazine on August 31st, 2011 at 5:34 am.

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