Fish that Live in Trees

Scientists were startled last month when they discovered that mangrove killifish, a fish native to Florida, Central America and the Caribbean, spend weeks of the year living in the rotten branches of trees, fully out of the water. The fish typically live in pools of water made by the roots of mangrove trees. When those pools dry up, however, the fish “flop their way” into rotten branches, using tunnels dug out by insects. There they…

If you listen carefully, you can hear them singing…

line up end to end with one another and wait out waterier pastures.

Three details make the killifish discovery particularly interesting. The first is that the fish apparently alter the biological make up in their gills to allow them to essentially breathe air. Their gills retain water and nutrients and excrete nitrogen while they’re in the trees. The next is that the fish which are normally tenaciously territorial over their pools lose their aggressive ways and live peacefully, jam-packed together inside the rotten branches. Finally, while living in the trees the mangrove killifish give up their devotion to a humanistic branch of Catholicism and convert to devoutly Orthodox Judaism, complete with the hats and the curls. One Saturday, they’re blogging about modern life in a mangrove cesspool. The next, they won’t even answer a telephone…Amazing!

i-2e4bfbc4ee7d0f893f2288db99aaf4f0-Mangrove Killifish.jpg
These little fish have taught us a big lesson…It IS ok to dream


  1. #1 Leonardo Alannis
    October 25, 2007

    Hey great blog, its one of my favs….regarding this article, I would think that the killifish would have pectoral muscular modifications in order to deal with climbing on to the trees would they?

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