The day other in the wetlands of Hong Kong (Nam Sang Wai), I saw the most fascinating creatures slithering in the mud. From what I could tell, the first one looked like a fish (thin, slender body), except it used its fins as legs to move itself on the ground and had closely set big bug eyes on top of its body. Initially, I thought it was something out of text book on evolution. But as it turned out, this strange creature was actually part of the Mudskipper family.
Mudskippers are completely amphibious fish that can use their pectoral fins to walk on land. Being amphibious, they are uniquely adapted to intertidal habitats, unlike most fish in such habitats which survive the retreat of the tide by hiding under wet seaweed or in tidal pools.
Mudskippers in Hong Kong
Here’s a video I shot of the mudskippers. Keep a close eye at the bottom of the screen and within the first 5 seconds you’ll notice this Mudskipper slither into one of the holes.
I was completely amazed looking at these amphibious fish and that too to find them in Hong Kong!
Fiddler Crabs in Hong Kong
The other creatures I saw in Nam Sang Wai were the beautiful Fiddler crabs – red mini crabs with a single giant claw. I wonder how their centre of gravity works? Hmmmm…
“The dual functionality of the major claw of fiddler crabs has presented an evolutionary conundrum in that the claw mechanics best suited for fighting do not match up with the mechanics best suited for a waving display”.
Looks like I stumbled upon some evolutionary swamp here in Hong Kong. Who would have thought?!