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Fish Out of Water: Terrestrial Jumping by Fully Aquatic Fishes
 

Summary: Fish Out of Water: Terrestrial
Jumping by Fully Aquatic Fishes
ALICE C. GIBB1, MIRIAM A. ASHLEY-ROSS2
CINNAMON M. PACE1
, AND JOHN H. LONG JR3
1
Department of Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona
2
Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
3
Department of Biology, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York
Many teleosts that live at the water's edge will voluntarily strand themselves to evade predators or
escape poor conditions--this behavior has been repeatedly observed in the field for killifishes
(Cyprinodontiformes). Although most killifishes are considered fully aquatic and possess no obvious
morphological specializations to facilitate terrestrial locomotion, individuals from several different
species have been observed moving across land via a ``tail flip'' behavior that generates a terrestrial
jump. Like aquatic fast starts, terrestrial jumps are produced by high-curvature lateral flexion of the
body (stage one), followed by contralateral flexion of the posterior body (stage two). Here, terrestrial
jumps and aquatic fast starts are quantified for two littoral teleosts: Gambusia affinis (a killifish,
Cyprinodontiformes) and Danio rerio (a small carp, Cypriniformes) to determine if the tail flip is

  

Source: Ashley-Ross, Miriam A. - Department of Biology, Wake Forest University

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Biology and Medicine