Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wet and Aggressive Corella challenges Magpie

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Thinking, thinking, thinking,...

One evening last week the skinny one was indulging himself by playing St Vitus Dance with the remote control (a habit I loathe).

He briefly landed on a program about mud-skippers, and I have been thinking about it ever since.

Mudskippers are amphibious fish, and this link will tell you a little more about them, with pictures.  In the snippet I saw, the fish came out of the water at low tide, and using their flippers walked across the mud to feed.  At the first hint of danger, they dived back into the water.

I assume their amphibious nature is an expression of their path down the evolutionary trail.  But are they fish who are going to develop into land dwellers, or are they going back to the sea?
What will their final form look like?
And will the world last long enough for it to be realised?

It is crowded in my head, and there are some strange pathways to wander down...

152 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Blogoratti: No great thoughts here. Weird wanderings...

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  2. And I have read great apes are entering the stone age. What a fascinating world we live in, where all these "loose" ends can be so conveniently shared, electronically. More things to think about.

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    1. Joanne Noragon: When I read of meditation techniques which start with 'clear your mind' I know I am doomed to fail. There are so many things to think about. Big and small. And I am so grateful to have so much at my fingertips...

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  3. I think they fill their own niche and will remain mudskippers. Like the salmon that crosses land. (Which is also really weird to watch.)

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    1. Alex J. Cavanaugh: I am going to agree to disagree here. I don't think much (if anything) remains static. And niches can become too small as things grow...
      I would love to see land crossing salmon. I will explore that in a bit.

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  4. I know nothing about them, but since you provided a link I guess I'll know more soon. You do sound like you are traveling down some strange pathways in your mind. :-)

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    1. DJan: Most of the pathways, the highways and the byways in my mind are strange.

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  5. They started off as dinosaurs.....

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    1. Lee: Perhaps. And what will they become...

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    2. It's as clear as mud, EC...skippers with the smoothest skin!

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    3. Lee: Hmm. Seems lacking in ambition to me.

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  6. I read the answer is in the mud! I had to Google these adorable, ingenious creatures, thank you for bringing them to light. Imagine that, the male is very important for the survival of mudskipper eggs as well. Here's a short but highly interesting link about them. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KurTiX4FDuQ

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    1. Karen S.: They are fascinating aren't they? And I always like to learn about species where the male has a role other than procreation. Sadly the BBC won't allow me to watch that link - for copyright reasons.

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    2. Oh that's too bad, it's really interesting, but then you watched the show which was interesting too. I thank you for bringing them to my attention too. It would be quite fascinating to watch them live!

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    3. Karen S.: I only saw a snippet of the show - and wish I had seen more. I agree, it would be wonderful to see them live, and two bloggers (Margaret Adamson and Jesusan) have. I am a touch envious.

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  7. Never knew about these....interesting. Ah, that thinking gets me into a lot of trouble! Be careful, ha-ha.

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    1. Bookie: So much to learn, so little time. Teamed with so many books, so little time it is a wonder I get anything done. And thinking has got me into trouble before too. As has not thinking.

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  8. I love mud skippers! Such weird creatures. I think they're trying to get back to the ocean.

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    1. Madilyn Quinn: I liked that thought too. Rather a lot. Why should evolution be a one-way street.

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  9. You are a true naturalist when you can make room in your crowded brain for such as the Mudskippers. They are very interesting creatures, for sure, and as ugly as they come ... good that we have evolved beyound that. But yes, one has to wonder where they are headed on the evolutionary table ... given that man is hell bent on self distructing, maybe they are the next in line ... like you said, food for thought.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. Andrea Priebe: Curiosity is one of my strongest defining characteristics. About a very wide range of things. And I share your worry about our part in the world...

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  10. If this is their final version, they must be pretty disappointed.

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    1. Marty Damon: Or quite pleased with themselves for achieving the best of both worlds?

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    2. Ah Sue, just what I was going to say! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder too *laughs*. They are fascinating creatures, and I too like the idea they may be keen to head back to the sea. Get me some gills and I'll join them I can tell you.

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    3. All Consuming: Some days I would head back to the sea in a heart-beat. Nice to know I would have company.

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  11. I am curious about EVERYTHING & my mind has become a virtual storehouse of useless information!!

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    1. fishducky: I am also curious about everything. I wish my brain would retain what I find better though. Except that it gives me the fun of discovery time and time again.

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  12. I've seen them in a doco too, so interesting.
    Men and remotes!!! Grr.

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    1. librarygirl: The remote thing sends me (more) crazy. Choose a program and watch it. Or turn the bloody thing off.
      The mudskippers were intrigueing though - and I would have liked to have seen more.

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  13. Oh, Mudskippers, tell me what your secret is?

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  14. Oh to live in two worlds they have got it all covered.
    Merle...........

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    1. Merlesworld: For the moment at least...

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  15. Dear EC
    Mudskippers are obviously extremely adaptable, to be what they are and to manage to survive, despite man's best efforts to ruin the planet...
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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    1. Ellie Foster: They are aren't they? Unobtrusive masters of adaptability.

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  16. Interesting fish, one I hadn't thought about in years, probably since school.
    As to their final evolved appearance, think about people you might have seen and straightaway thought, he looks like a fish. Then there are fish that have almost human faces, I saw some in the tank at AQWA. I'll see if I can find a photo, I'm sure I took one.

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    1. River: You have my mind going down yet another path now. Fish-faced is not considered a compliment - yet so many fish are very, very beautiful.

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  17. Sounds like they have adapted to avoid predation and to find food. Maybe they are not headed anywhere at all, back to total aquatics, nor to total land habitation, as they have the best of both worlds and can exploit both habitats well. I love their "land diving apparatus" in that they harbor a bubble in their gills, to help them keep moist and get oxygen, while their gills are sealed on land, like a reverse scuba diver.

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    1. Strayer: Reverse scuba diver is a perfect description. And I wonder why they have evolved to get the best of both worlds and other species haven't. I am usually a detail person, but this is one of the areas where I would love to be able to see the big picture...

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  18. Hi EC. Amazing what you see on TV during random acts of flipping. I'd never heard of these fish, but don't you just love it when you learn something new by meeting a new creature (to us) on the planet. Now I must do some googling...:-)

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    1. Denise Covey: I learn things every day. Which is a combination of my own ignorance and of just how much there is to learn. The first is a work in progress and the second is wonderful. And exciting.

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  19. You are not alone! Love those ponderings :)

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    1. HBF: Isn't it nice to know that others spend their days wondering too?

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  20. Got to say, I would be totally freaked to be walking along the shore and see one sliding? slithering? crawling? toward me.

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    1. Sandra Cox: They use their flippers to 'walk'. A bit jerky, but no stranger than a crab. I suspect I would be fascinated to see them. Awed and fascinated.

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    2. I would be awed and fascinated from a distance.

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    3. Sandra Cox: No problems with that approach. It is how I feel about snakes. I need a considerable distance to appreciate them.

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  21. I've often thought similarly about axolotls.
    Lets hope humans won't be able to impede their evolution - if that's what's in store for them.

    Re: River's comment - Google images of "blob fish" and "humanoid carp".
    Genuinely fascinating and creepy at the same time :)

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    1. Vicki: Blob fish and humanoid carp are NOT what I had in mind when I thought about the beauty of fish. We don't improve the species.
      I really wish that the only evolution we could have any impact on was our own.

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  22. I love hearing and seeing brains at work. Much food for thought here.

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    1. e: I suspect my brain is a bit too flibberty-gibbert to 'work'. It plays a lot though. And I do love seeing where other people's minds take them.

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  23. and humans can have these same thought pathways are we going forward or backward

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    1. Linda Starr: I know not. Despite our protestations of superiority I have my doubts.

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  24. And I see mudpuppies, mud dogs, giant mud dogs and geoducks and wonder at Mother Nature's sense of humour.

    Oh! Speaking of curiosity and evolution: Have you seen the articles about the great apes and speech? The famous Koko is once again broadening our view of what is possible: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/08/18/how-a-coughing-ape-is-changing-our-ideas-about-animals-humans-and-language/

    Evolution has not stopped, nor even slowed.

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    1. Jacquelineand...: If evolution were to stop, the end would be very, very close.
      And I loved reading that Koko is yet more proof than we are not as different (or as superior) as we like to think.

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  25. After reading the Wikipedia link, in some ways they seem highly evolved with their ability to survive in and out of water and perhaps that is just how they will stay, climate change notwithstanding.

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    1. Andrew: They do seem highly evolved - but evolution isn't static. Slow, but definitely moving.

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    1. Michael G D'Agostino: I hope not. I really, really hope not. Clever though.

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  27. All that thought and you could have been reading a book. Next time you know exactly where to shove the remote and it's where no mudskipper will go.

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    1. JahTeh: Tempting. Very, very tempting. The constant channel changing drives me batty(ier).

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  28. Has anyone ever told you that you think too much? :)

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    1. KB: Of course they have. Are you going to add to their numbers?

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  29. Thank you for sharing.....I love scientific thoughts. It is so interesting to see things that are not necessarily brought to our attention every day! Keep on thinking....That is what gets us from day to day!

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    1. Sienna Smythe: I found even the snippet of that program fascinating. I wish I had seen more. There is so much in life that is amazing isn't there?

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  30. Hi EC - isn't evolution extraordinary ... they are a wonder of nature; but don't think about them lasting out the course of time, otherwise you'll be fantasising how humans will look in a billion years or so ... with another few billion years to live through life on earth before we are absorbed by the sun.

    I love all the different creatures around, and all the variants that are found as we learn more .. .cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary Melton-Butcher: I don't think I want to know what our species will look like in a billion years or so - assuming we last that long.
      And yes, evolution and nature ARE extraordinary. Moving slowly, but incredibly surely.

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  31. Hi Sue I saw these one time when I was out bird watching with a friend in Australia Fascinating to watch. Now I know you are not going to agree but Mudskippers always looked like that and will rremain that way. They NEVER were dinosaurs and will never be humans!

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    1. Margaret Adamson: I have no idea what Mudskippers ancient relatives looked like. And have no thought of them ever becoming human. When all is said and done, being amphibious already makes them more evolved than us in some way.

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  32. That is so weird and now you've got me to thinking. I can image these creatures being written into all sorts of stories and can you image the sci-fi movies staring these guys? Things can change fast sometimes, but I don't think we'll be around to see these guys final outcome.

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    1. Mason Canyon: Nature out weirds sci-fi often. Quietly, but very, very successfully. And no, I don't think we will be around for the final chapter either.

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  33. You head down some interesting paths to me! Maybe they'll become the next group to evolve into humans.

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    1. Stephanie Faris: I hope not. I really hope not. It seems like a retrograde step to me.

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  34. I think you should unleash your imagination and write a story about their journey into... whichever which way they're going. :)

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    1. River Fairchild: Do you know I think you are the first person to tell me to unleash the dogs of imagination. All my life people have told me to keep them muzzled. And chained.

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    2. I heard those same people all my life. They're now safely chained up in my basement. And muzzled.

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    3. River Fairchild: Good. Feed them gruel. Occasionally.

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  35. Interesting little creatures. And that fin on their back...very cool! They look a little sad, though.

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    1. mshatch: I suspect they are fairly low on the pecking order. And have reason to feel sad - and anxious.

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  36. I have heard of these creatures. Very interesting read..

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    1. whiteangel: They are fascinating. Like so much of the natural world.

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  37. Mudskippers - we call them politicians in the U.S. They live in swampy water and come out every two or four years and try to make us think they walk on water.

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    1. Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe: Smiling, but I think you are being unfair to the Mudskippers who don't spew poison and crap.

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  38. Having encountered Mud Skippers in person, I'd have to say that they have the best of both worlds.

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    1. Jesusan: You have seen them? Wow. Jealous thoughts.

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  39. The strange pathways are my favorite journey!!!!

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    1. Sonya Ann: Not always safe - but never dull.

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  40. They are evolving and mankind is devolving.

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  41. Interesting. I've never heard of mudskippers. Seems they are trying to make it on the land, but inevitably default to the sea. It's safe there - fewer humans, more sea-life.

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    1. Rawknrobyn: Given the choice I think I would become a water dweller...

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  42. Fascinating fish. It makes me wonder how we will all evolve eventually. We are all connected.

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    1. DeniseinVA: I don't think I want to know how we will evolve. Fortunately I won't see it.

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  43. All valid questions. I think they will keep evolving into whatever they need to be to survive. If they don't, they won't. Will changes in the planet not be too abrupt for that? I don't know, but if I think about it for a while I'm liable to hurt both brain cells and get a headache.

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    1. Jono: How nice to hear of someone else with two brain cells - which hurt when exercised.

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  44. Good thinking. Hope we keep this planet alive long enough for them to evolve naturally and for us to appreciate how fascinating they are.

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  45. How very interesting. I have to check out the link and it would be interesting to research them a bit to see what they were like 100 or two hundred years ago. Great questions- always good to be thinking. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: Or what they were like 1000 years ago, or 10,000...

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  46. It is crowded in my head, and there are some strange pathways to wander down...

    What a wonderful
    Wonderful
    Sentence x

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    1. John Gray: Thank you. It is very, very true as well.

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  47. Hi human, Sue,

    They are going to grow wings and attempt to fly off this planet before it's too late. They will have specially adapted lung-gills so they can breathe in space as they seek out a new world.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

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    1. Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!! So not just the best of both worlds, but the best of the universe as well. I wish them luck.

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  48. That is so WEIRD. And interesting pondering on your part...perhaps they're fully evolved, unlike us? ;)

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    1. Riot Kitty: I don't think anything is fully evolved. A work in progress. Just very, very slow progress. Like rather a lot of my projects.

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  49. Wow, that is truly fascinating! I saw a brief spot about them a couple years ago and they were definitely intriguing. They have an ingenious way of breathing too, in and out of water. It is a model of evolution...and as some above have said, I have to wonder if they are progressing slowly or have reached what they will become? Sadly, I'm afraid the greed of mankind for just doing whatever they please (not everyone of course, mainly politicians and big corporations) may cut their evolution short.

    Or just maybe, they'll have the last laugh (perhaps literally if they keep changing, ha).

    Fascinating subject!!!

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    1. 1st Man: I am really pleased to hear that other people are as intrigued as I am. Sometimes I believe that our greed will cut everything's evolution short. I try not to dwell on it though.

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  50. Haha, EC... without reading any of the other comments, all I have to say is I'm impressed the Mudskippers have figured out they can do two things at once :)

    Also, I remember when I was a kid growing up in Dublin that Mudskippers were called "boy" or "Little Bollix"

    PS: I'm seriously grinning here... the more I think about it, I would have LOVED to be the leader of the MudSkippers... gawd, we would have caused so much (MORE!!) trouble :)

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    1. Mark Koopmans: I take it you are not going to tell your boys about Mudskippers. Or are you brave enough to take on the challenge if they decide that they could be the leader...

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  51. I've never seen one!! We have a new pet here, my son's first ever (a turtle) and I swear that little guy's got big personality. Who knew??? :)

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    1. mail4rosey: My brothers had a turtle when we were growing up. That turtle had a bigger (and nicer) personality than they did.

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  52. My husband plays with the remote like that, and I too find it irritating, but sometimes he does land on something interesting, and if he stays, I too learn something new! I'd seen these guys on the web, but so interesting!

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    1. Yolanda Renee: It seems to a largely gender related habit too. And my partner very rarely stays where he lands...

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  53. Another question to consider is "Are these a leftover species?" Evolution does not work in a single straight line, therefore it's easily possible that mudskippers were around previously and served as a keystone species for the evolution of something else. Mutations happened and another species developed but mudskippers were adapted enough to their situation that they didn't die off. Just something to consider.

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    1. Robert Bennett: You are right of course, but my brain cells don't thank you. More thinking to do...

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    2. Hahaha. Sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I'm genuinely plagued sometimes by my brain not shutting off. Oh the insomnia. ~_~

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    3. Robert Bennett: Insomnia lives here too. And I am also totally unable to shut my brain down. Distract it yes, close it down no.

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  54. As Yolanda wrote above, my husband also plays remote search. Even if I leave the room for only a few moments, he will use that time to check what is playing on other channels. When I return, he is interested in some other show, reluctant to return to the show we were watching. I dread retirement.

    Mudskippers? Clever to develop and maintain such skills.

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    1. Susan Kane: I don't have to leave the room. His fingers get clicking. And clicking. And clicking. Which often means I DO leave the room.
      I am endlessly fascinated and awed by nature. And mudskippers are a perfect example.

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  55. Mudskippers remind me of when we lived in Darwin and were exploring the mangroves. Being someone who is constantly fascinated by nature I picked one up and was promptly nibbled. Which also reminds me of the time I was bitten by a moth. Thank you for a trip down memory lane.

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    1. Kim: My father told me that there was nothing which didn't bite sometimes, but a moth??? Only a flesh wound I assume...

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    2. Not even a flesh wound but it sure made me jump when I rescued it from a muddy puddle. I found out from a moth expert, after years of people thinking I was crazy, that it was a fruit eating moth. Your father was right!

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    3. Kim: He often was. Not perhaps as often as he believed, but he was right about a lot of things.

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  56. oh gosh, I love mudskippers and any animal that travels in the ways "between". Which way will they go? We know where we went! Which is why it is soooooo fascinating, I think, looking a history potentially repeating itself. Also humbling.

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    1. Raquel Somatra: So much of life is fascinating and humbling isn't it? Neither are bad things...

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  57. EC, it's an uncanny coincidence, but I've just recommended this link to Murr over on her blog, and come here to find that it's the first thing I thought of when I read your second-last sentence:
    http://waitbutwhy.com/2015/08/how-and-why-spacex-will-colonize-mars.html

    It's a long read, and is easier to digest if you read Parts I & II referenced in the link. I'd be one of the last people to support space exploration or development before I read this article, and now I wholeheartedly am in favour of it. Strong words, I know, but true.

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    1. jenny_o: I will go over and check out the link when I have a little more time. Thank you. At the moment, before I read it, I am leaning towards opposing space exploration/development on the grounds that it seems like moving house because we have trashed our own. I wonder whether my perpective will change too.

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  58. I love that there are so many others to be found in the blogosphere whose minds are always churning and wondering. A lot of my friends think I'm a nutcase for wondering about so many things... and (gasp!) researching them!... when they're contented to shrug their shoulders and forget about them.

    As for the mudskippers, I wonder if they started as water creatures or as land creatures. It seems to me that their current state of being able to manage both environments would be an evolutionary thing to enhance their ability to survive, but on the other hand, look at birds. They can motivate both on land and in the air. Maybe the mudskipper's ability to motivate on land and in water is comparable, and an ability which has always been theirs. Fascinating stuff.

    Happy weekend!

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    1. Susan: So many questions, so few answers. I hope I never give up asking, wondering, pondering, researching though...
      My first thought about the mudskippers was that they started in the water - as so many things did. But then I wondered whether I was just making assumptions. And think I was...

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  59. My head has been full of so much crapola lately..listening to too many politicians and too many newscasters lately. I suppose I have been stuck in this house too long with my recuperating husband. I have heard of walking fish, but I didn't know the name. Off to check out the link. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines: I hope you can find an escape from the crap and the crud. And that your husband's recuperation is going well.
      Take some time for yourself if you can. Even if you can't.

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  60. What an interesting fish, I have never seen it before. My mind gets to wandering way too much, hope yours calmed down by now lol

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    1. Kim @ Stuff could...: My mind wanders very happily. It is a great deal more reluctant to come home again.

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  61. **It is crowded in my head, and there are some strange pathways to wander down...**

    I like that! xx

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    1. My Inner Chick: Some very strange pathways. Hugs.

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  62. someone claimed to see a chinese snake head fish in one of our small city lakes and it was a national emergency. people imagined it reproducing and fish walking on land to other lakes. the lake was drained and they claimed to find the offending fish but also euthanized all the red eared slider turtles because they were considered an invasive species.

    it was a turtle holocaust that went internationally unnoticed.

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    1. billy pilgrim, knight of the woeful countenance: (Goodness, what a mouthful your title is). Sometimes I despair of people. Often I despair.

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  63. I see we both wonder as we wander through this life...fascinating fish!

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    1. Donna@LivingFromHappiness: The world is full of wonder. And all the best worlds are...

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  64. They are strange little creatures!

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    1. Cloudia: They are - but not the strangest. Not by a long way.

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  65. Thanks for the link - such an interesting creature, and quite cute in its own way! Your question of their final form is such a good one. So many unknowns and assumed truths in this world of ours. We really probably don't know nearly as much as we think!

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    1. Susan F.: I am still wondering. And will never know. And I am pretty certain that we don't know nearly as much as we think we do.

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  66. Beautiful pictures! I had to laugh about the roses. :) I am glad you found room for them and am sure they will be gorgeous. I especially liked the pictures with the dew. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. DMS ~ Jess: I laughed about the roses too - but snarled as well. And they do all have homes in the garden and will hopefully thrive.

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  67. Hi EC,
    Have you given any thoughts to framing your sunrise pictures? They are awesome. They just breathe serenity.

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    1. Sandra Cox: The only photos we have having on the walls are some of Antarctica, and a few from my partner's exotic holidays...

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