The greatest treasures to be unearthed by explorers of a past age were surely ecological. Horses wearing pyjamas, bald grey mammoths, talking birds and fish that live on land. ‘Gadzooks!’ the Royal Court may have cried at such absurdity, ‘a fish that can breathe?’
The mudskippers are members of the family Oxudercinae, a subspecies of goby that are truly amphibian – breathing oxygen through the skin though they must stay moist in order to do so. The humid conditions of their tropical and subtropical haunts do keep the mudskipper nice and damp and though they are never far from water, have evolved to walk on their pectoral fins and hunt prey on the ground.
They look very much like the gobies to which they are related, and yet their habits give them a very different appearance.
If the thought of a land-loving fish is odd, then consider fishing for them. It would feel very peculiar, wouldn’t it?