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Species Spotlight: Pacific Leaping Blenny

A new study on the Pacific Leaping Blenny spotlights this amazing land-dwelling fish.

The legless fish that makes its home in the southern and western Pacific Ocean was the subject of a University of New South Wales study, in which biologists observed the species in the tropical island of Guam and discovered their intricate body movements that allow them to cling to almost any rocky surface and leap several times their body length.

The Pacific Leaping Blenny has also developed unique camouflage coloring, which match the specific rock surface they live on. “This terrestrial fish spends all of its adult life living on the rocks in the splash zone, hopping around defending its territory, feeding and courting mates. They offer a unique opportunity to discover in a living animal how the transition from water to the land has taken place,” said study senior author Dr Terry Ord in a piece. Courtney Morgans co-authored the study.

An involved experiment that left decoy blennies on both rocky surfaces and the sand of a nearby beach justified the camouflage. More decoys on the beach were attacked by predators, proving the evolutionary adaptations of this incredible fish.

What we want to know is, who will be the first to hook one of these land-dwellers without even getting their line wet?


Featured image via Australian Museum (Georgina Cooke)

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Species Spotlight: Pacific Leaping Blenny