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Giant Mudskipper

Giant Mudskipper
Photo Information
Copyright: Ang Hwee Yong (Meerkat) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 20 W: 0 N: 896] (5258)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-02
Categories: Fish
Camera: Nikon D70, AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR, Nikon 77mm Neutral Color
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-07-08 7:34
Viewed: 4991
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Giant Mudskippers
Periophthalmodon schlosseri
Ikan Belacak/Belodok/Tembakul (Malay)

One of the largest of the mudskippers in the world and definitely the largest in Sungei Buloh Nature Park, Giant Mudskippers dominate the mudflats and move about openly.

At high tide, they may remain at the water surface, near their burrows, resting on roots, rocks or other surfaces. At low tide, they forage actively on the mudflat or perch at the entrance of their burrows.

Giant Mudskippers are carnivorous, aggressively hunting mainly arthropods (e.g., insects) and crustacea. These are caught on the mud, or while the fish is swimming in the water. They may even eat smaller mudskippers.

Mudskippers are found along the intertidal zone, living happily on the margin of land and sea. They have special adaptations to help them dominate a habitat which few other animals can exploit: soft mud with fluctuating water quantities and qualities.

Breeding: Giant Mudskippers take great care of their young. During breeding, a nest is built deep in the mud. The burrow is made by scooping mud out by the mouthful. Around the entrance, a low wall is built so there is always a pool of water over the entrance at low tide. The tunnel is about the diameter of the fish (about 8cm) but at the surface, the entrance can be up to 1m across. Burrows can reach 1.2m deep. Sometimes several entrances are built.

The eggs are laid deep in the burrow. As there is virtually no oxygen in the burrow, the fish aerates the water there by gulping mouthfuls of air and bringing into the burrow. The eggs are laid on the "roof" of a chamber at the end of burrow. The larvae that hatch from the eggs remain in the burrow until they change into a more mudskipper-like shape. These juveniles probably remain in the safety of the pool around the nest entrance until they are big enough to leave.

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What a ugly creature. Cool picture

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