Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Scientists on a trip to Guatemala City have come across the weirdest yet most fascinating discovery so far. They had kicked over a log and to their surprise had fish jumping at them from everywhere. Scientists were baffled at this, and wondered where these fishes came from? There was not enough water anywhere near there for there to support fish as we know. But this species known as The Mangrove Rivulus, has a very key animal behavior. It can breathe underwater and on land, and it can do so for many months.

It has been discovered that this species of fish can live on land when there habitat dries up. They are found to live on logs and they have been recorded to have grown as long as 3 centimeters. More interestingly, they have also been found living in crab burrows, coconut shells, and my favorite old beer cans. It seems that the fish is able to breathe in the air through its skin, instead of its gills, till it finds water again. They took the fish into the laboratory and were shocked to discover that the fish could survive for up to 66 days without water and food. Somehow, their metabolism is still functional.

Even though other fish have been known to be able to breathe out of water, such as the walking catfish, this is the first case of a fish living up to 66 days without water. They drop their metabolic rate down significantly to survive without food for so long. Another interesting feature of these fish is their sex life. It seems that they have both testes and ovaries present in their system and thus basically lay fertilized eggs.

To the scientific community, this discovery is important for many reasons. Again the boundaries of what we know and believe have been pushed beyond our previous belifs. Also its a pretty cool fish, and seems to be very interesting. However the main importance is the impact it has on our evolution. It is theorized that there was life in the water first and then eventually it moved out onto the land. This fish could be a link to this transition and thus has raised eyes. It seems the enviornment the fish live in now could be similar to that of millions of years ago, and thus such an ability is strongly selected for. Hopefully more studies will come soon with more interesting fishes like these.


Posted By, Kirubakaran Sivagurunathan (8)


At 8:03 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This blog is well written and very informative. I really liked how you could hear your voice coming through. The paragprah was not bland or boring. The only sentence that I could see any problems with was the fourth sentence in the first paragraph starting with, "There was not enough..". This sentence is worded slightly off.
Really good blog and the subject was very unique and interesting

Posted By: Scotty Fay

At 10:42 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This post was very well written. Apart from that, it is a very interesting article. Like you mentioned in your post I think this is the first time a fish has been discovered to live without water for so long. I think that is really amazing. I think you picked a great article to write about. Good job overall!!

Posted by:
Swetha Raghavan


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