National Geographic : 1972 Jan
inches deep. After the spawning and egg fertilization, the young hatch as tiny larvae that later metamorphose into fish form. I watched fascinated one afternoon as an inspired male vigorously gouged out his lair of mud. Time after time he dived into the shaft, grubbed a mouthful with his tiny teeth, then surfaced and lobbed the mud pellet sometimes half a foot away. At last he completed his nuptial home. Despite obvious talents for living on land, where it feeds, fin-walks, and finds a mate, Periophthalmusseems as much at home in the water as any other fish. Labor atory tests show that the mudskipper can stay submerged indefinitely with no ill effects. Observers of an African species report that it apparently is lured onto mud flats warmed by the sun, much as humans are drawn to sun-warmed seas.