|A leaping blenny attached to a rock at mid tide.|
New research into the lifestyle of a small fish called a leaping blenny suggests that the tides would have played a major part in this transition. This remarkable little fish is of course aquatic. However most of its day to day activities take place on rocks that are above water level at mid. They use a combination of a tail twisting movement and enlarged fins to grip onto any available surface. They can also flick their tails and twist their bodies to jump many times their own body length to quickly reach higher ground.
While it still needs to stay moist to survive, it does not need to be completely submerged in water to breathe. They shelter in crevices in the rocks at high and low tides, emerging to feed, mate and socialise at mid tide, when the water level is not submerging the rocks that they make their home, but close enough for them to keep their bodies moist enough to survive. Today most fish are aquatic. However a few fish families such as the lungfish or the leaping blennies give scientists a unique laboratory to gain insight into amphibian evolution.
|The remains of a Devonian tidal pool with a metamorphic bedrock.|
Amphibians could have first evolved in such a place