To breathe or not to breathe...
Unlike most fish, mudskippers spend much of their life OUT of water! How do they do it? Mudskippers are fish and so they have gills. Once out of the water, their gills begin to dry out and stick together, so mudskippers have a special cavity behind their ears where sea water is stored. As they rotate their eyes, pressure is applied to that cavity and this reoxygenates the stored water, lubricates the gill flaps and restores the gills to their normal function.
The eyes have it
A fish that walks?
Periophthalmus barbarus or Periopthalmus koelreuteri. Mudskippers belong to the largest family of marine fish, the Gobiidae.
Mudskippers are quite literally walking fish and the imagery they give us is a good indication of the evolutionary steps that brought us out of the oceans. They rand in size from 4 to 12 inches long. There are various different species of mudskipper but they are all similar. The eyes move independently and can see in all directions either on land or in the water.
Insects, sandworms, small crustaceans (all found in mangrove swamps). They will eat other small creatures if provided with them (such as crickets, their staple food in zoos).
They walk and hop around in muddy environments and on roots. Their two large pectoral articulated fins are shaped like small legs. Their two dorsal fins are developed and ideal for wiggling on the land and for moving inside river sludge. Their tail also provides some motionary force.
They can retract their eyes into their eye sockets, rolling them backwards to moisten them - the same action lubricates their gill flaps and allows them to breathe.
A species of mudskipper Periophthalmus vulgaris hasparticularly evolved versions of the mudskipper's breathing apparatus: Breathing sacs bounded in a highly folded thin layer of cells. This epithelium is flush with blood vessels. This is a simple version of mammalian lungs. They absorb oxygen from these chambers into their blood. They use their gills to breathe air - but keep their gills wet by wiping them with their fins.