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Thread: The Fish That Can Survive in a Tree

  1. #1
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    The Fish That Can Survive in a Tree

    Wise Young isn't online right now, but this looks like the kind of story he might post. So here goes:

    It's one of the golden rules of the natural world – birds live in trees, fish live in water.

    The trouble is, no one bothered to tell the mangrove killifish.
    Scientists have discovered that it spends several months of every year out of the water and living inside trees.

    Hidden away inside rotten branches and trunks, the remarkable creatures temporarily alter their biological makeup so they can breathe air.

    Biologists studying the killifish say they astonished it can cope for so long out of its natural habitat.

    The discovery, along with its ability to breed without a mate, must make the mangrove killifish, Rivulus marmoratus Poey, one of the oddest fish known to man.

    Around two inches long, they normally live in muddy pools and the flooded burrows of crabs in the mangrove swamps of Florida, Latin American and Caribbean.

    The latest discovery was made by biologists wading through swamps in Belize and Florida who found hundreds of killifish hiding out of the water in the rotting branches and trunks of trees.

    The fish had flopped their way to their new homes when their pools of water around the roots of mangroves dried up. Inside the logs, they were lined up end to end along tracks carved out by insects.

    Dr Scott Taylor of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Programme in Florida admitted the creatures were a little odd...
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ala
    Wise Young isn't online right now, but this looks like the kind of story he might post. So here goes:



    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770
    Yes, amazing fish. Wise.

  3. #3
    I wonder if some of these aren't recently evolved creatures? When scientists make these discoveries, the assumption is always that they're old and have just gone unnoticed.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scorpion's Avatar
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    I've heard of the lungfish (and seen them on documentaries) which has rudimentary lungs in addition to gills, and breathes air as it crawls across land to find a new pond when then one it was in dries up, but the killifish sounds even more unique and adapted to survival. Fascinating.

    Edit: I see I'm combining my memories of lungfish and the "walking catfish" (which can also breathe air).
    Last edited by Scorpion; 10-21-2007 at 01:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Ala: It's one of the golden rules of the natural world – birds live in trees
    Nobody told that to penguins or ostriches.

    This is a remarkable fish and along with the lungfish is a fish that is very well adapted to living in difficult habitats. It is also extraordinary that more well known animals like penguins are so well adpted to living in the sea and that animals like whales have evolved from land living species:

    http://hometown.aol.com/darwinpage/whale1.gif

    Vacant niches have allowed evolution to break so many golden rules that it is diffucult to understand why anyone proclaims them as golden rules.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian
    Nobody told that to penguins or ostriches.

    This is a remarkable fish and along with the lungfish is a fish that is very well adapted to living in difficult habitats. It is also extraordinary that more well known animals like penguins are so well adpted to living in the sea and that animals like whales have evolved from land living species:...


    ...Vacant niches have allowed evolution to break so many golden rules that it is diffucult to understand why anyone proclaims them as golden rules.
    Adrian I hope you know that the quote, "It's one of the golden rules of the natural world – birds live in trees, fish live in water," is NOT mine. It looks like your attributing this quote to me.

    Also, your taking the quote out of context. Read the article and you'll see that the author DAVID DERBYSHIRE is being facetious. It's a joke to lead off this article. The rest of the article is a serious story.

  7. #7
    Ala, I was referencing the quote about birds in trees to the post that you made and as can be seen your post consisted almost entirley of a quote from a newspaer article so I apologis if I gave the impression that they were your words.
    I have read the article that you posted and accept that the quote about birds in trees is a humorous introduction to the article but the article errors which are certainly not intended as humorous and to an extent undermine the credibility of the author. For example he makes this claim about the fish in question:
    Previously their biggest claim to fame was that they are the only known vertebrate – animal with a backbone – to reproduce without the need for a mate.
    This is however nowhere near true:
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...icle759338.ece
    Parthenogenesis, which is derived from the Greek words for virgin birth, occurs when an egg spontaneously begins dividing as if it were an embryo, without being fertilised by sperm. It is known to have produced live young in about 70 vertebrate species, mostly reptiles and fish, and is thought to be encouraged when females are separated from males.

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