Fish Lives in Logs, Breathing Air, for Months at a Time
The mangrove rivulus does something completely unique: packs itself into hollow logs for up to two months to wait out dry spells, scientists have found.
A tiny Western Atlantic fish does something never before seen: It makes like a bird, living in mangrove wood for months at a time.
A team of U.S. and English scientists accidentally discovered the unique behavior, which they call "logpacking," during recent excursions to Belize and Florida.
They were studying how the mangrove rivulus—an animal already infamous for its bizarre sexual behavior—survived the frequent dry spells that strike its swampy forest habitat.
"One of us kicked at a log, which broke apart and out came the fish!" said team leader Scott Taylor of Brevard County, Florida's Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.
The mangrove rivulus, also known as the mangrove killifish, is native to the Americas and is about two inches (five centimeters) long.
The fish has