We were on a birdwatching trip to the eastern coast in south India. While watching a flock of flamingos, some movement on the ground, close to the edge of water, caught my attention.

In the area where I noticed the movement, the mud was soft, slushy and slimy. It was not possible to get any closer. With unaided eyes, I found it difficult to discern anything meaningful or familiar. On observing carefully through my binoculars, a fish like creature wallowing in the mud took shape.A fish outside water?! Yes, it was indeed the mudskipper!


Mudskippers are fish that have taken to an amphibious life style. They are exceptional among fishes in this behaviour. They live in the mudflats and mangrove swamps throughout tropical Africa, Asia and Australasia. Mudskippers are very characteristic in having a large head with a protruding snout and eyes projecting above the top of the head. Most of them range in size from 11cm. to 30 cm. Mudskippers feed on a variety of food items. They eat algae, worms and other tidbits left behind by the receding tide on the mudflats.Even as I watched, one of them opened its fin and started displaying. Being very territorial, it chased another individual, which came too close. It was very interesting to watch this little drama. At this juncture, I decided to capture these interesting creatures on film. The day advanced and the unbearable heat forced us to leave the mudskippers to themselves.

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