Come and meet the mudskippers at Hong Kong Wetland Park this summer
Monday, June 18, 2012
A thematic programme entitled "Bouncy Wetlands" will be held this summer to introduce visitors to the mudskippers at Hong Kong Wetland Park. Everyone is welcome to come and meet this amazing creature which lives among the mangroves, starting from today (June 18).
Mangroves are unique habitats that support a great diversity of flora and fauna. The Mangrove Boardwalk is the most popular spot in the park - a place where visitors can discover the wonders of nature throughout the seasons.
Mudskippers are the most conspicuous fish in the mangroves because they hop out of the water and "walk" across the mud. Uniquely adapted for terrestrial activity, these fish breathe by holding water in their mouth and gill chamber. Similar to frogs, mudskippers can also breathe through their skin using the tiny blood vessels that lie close their skin surface. They often roll on mud to keep their skin moist and assist breathing. The physiology of mudskippers is remarkable - they can withstand levels of oxygen so low that few animals would survive.
Mudskippers exhibit interesting courtship and territorial behaviour, and some species can leap to surprising heights. Their eyes are on top of their heads, giving them excellent eyesight that allows them to spot predators from afar. A pair of muscular pectoral fins enables them to move forward and jump around on the mud.
Mudskippers like to dig burrows on mudflats. The burrows not only give shelter, but also provide breeding and nursery grounds for young fish. Mudskippers swim back and forth, transporting air into the burrows. They also clear the burrows by carrying the mud out.
The park will arrange an array of activities including guided tours, exhibitions and art workshops for visitors. For the first time, the park will also show highlights of the BBC nature documentary "Life" under the title "Life - The Amazing Fish", with some fascinating shots of mudskippers. In addition, the park and the Theatre Noir Foundation will jointly present a drama, "Mudskippers and Friends at Mangroves", which will take audiences into the Mangrove College to meet the mudskipper, kingfisher, fiddler crab, dragonfly and mongoose.
For programme details, please visit www.wetlandpark.com.