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Top 10 Fishes That can Walk on Land



Top 10 Fishes That can Walk on Land

Nature never fails to amaze us with its diversity and innovation. While we often associate the ability to walk with terrestrial creatures, there exist remarkable aquatic species that challenge this notion.

Yes, you heard it right! Fishes, known for their graceful movements in water, even have adapted and evolved to walk on land. In this article we present to you the Top 10 Fishes That Can Walk on Land. Lets get on to it without further ado. 

10. Garnai or Flying Fish 

Garnai or Flying Fish 
Source: National Wildlife Federation

Have you ever heard of a fish that can swim, fly and walk on land? Well, Garnai is the only fish that can do that. These fishes are found in the ocean and their ability to walk on land and fly is remarkable. These fishes can fly with their fins and can walk on land using their tail. 

The Garnai fish feed on small fishes and plants. They can fly as long as 40 seconds, which is fascinating. They have a beautiful appearance with a grey-to-bluish body with a network of beautiful fins. 

9. Shortnose Batfish 

Shortnose Batfish 
Source: What’s That Fish

The Shortnose Batfish with its distinct appearance can walk on land but choose not to do so frequently. They do so with the help of their pectoral fins and mostly for catching their prey. Although they can walk, they do so once in a blue moon and it depends on luck to see them do it. 

Also, they prefer to stay in water rather than on land and simply swim away when they are startled. In the wild, the Shortnose Batfish feed on crustaceans and small fishes. They are not popular among aquarists and if you do so make sure to have peaceful tankmates for it. 

8. Cave Angel Fish 

Cave Angel Fish 
Source: WIRED

A Cave Angel Fish is a blind fish that has adapted itself to walk on land for survival. Their pelvic fins are joined with their backbone, therefore they can utilize their fins to walk on land. These fishes were initially found walking on rocks in streams in Thailand. 

Cave Angel Fishes climb waterfalls when the water level fluctuates and move about in the land to move to waters with high oxygen content. Moreover, they have a unique appearance with a white body with a red hue. 

7. Mangrove Rivulus 

Mangrove Rivulus 
Source: Wikipedia

Mangrove fishes are small fishes that can live on land for more than 60 days. They have a typical appearance with slender and flat bodies and are adored by colors such as dark brown or green. These fishes are capable of moving on land by a jump-like movement by flipping. Moreover, these fishes breathe through their skin on land and excrete nitrogen waste from their skin as well. 

A fascinating thing about this fish is that it can self-reproduce. These fishes are capable of fertilizing themselves. But when it comes to consuming food, they can eat their eggs, worms, and insects. They can grow up to 6 cm in length and are hardy fishes capable of tolerating a wide range of temperatures and pollution. 

6. Bichir 

Source: Fishparenting

Bichir is a popular species of fish among aquarists and is a beautiful addition to an aquarium. But did you know that they can walk on land? Apparently, Bichir fish can walk on land in an unskillful manner by propelling themselves forward. Moreover, they have lungs along with their gills, which help them breathe on land. 

These fishes have an elongated body and are brown or green in color. They have several dorsal fins that run along from its head to its tail. Its elongated body is covered in thick, armored, and bone-like scales. 

5. Climbing Gourami 

Climbing Gourami 
Source: Wikipedia

In the world of aquatic wonders, the climbing gourami stands out as an extraordinary fish with a remarkable ability to walk on land. This species of fish can get out of water and then walk on land.

They are also said to be able to climb trees. Moreover, they can breathe on land because of a labyrinth organ present in their head. 

They move along the land with their tail, with their tails they push themselves forward. In terms of supporting themselves, they do it with their gill plates. They usually move on land to look for a favourable conditions to live in. 

4. Epaulette Shark 

Epaulette Shark 
Source: Australian Museum

When one thinks of a shark walking on land, one will get terrified. But in the case of Epaulette Sharks, you need not have fear as they only grow to a size of 3 feet. These fishes with an intimidating and beautiful appearances can entertain enthusiasts with their ability to walk on land. They walk on land with the help of their fins and even walk on the bottom of the ocean rather than swimming. 

These fishes have white body with black spots all over it and one big specific black spot behind the pectoral fin. They move about on land or the ocean floor in a manner of a salamander. Epaulette sharks can even survive on extremely low oxygen levels and have even survived without oxygen for one hour in an experiment. 

3. Walking Catfish 

Walking Catfish

This fish got walking on its name and without a doubt, they are excellent in locomotion on land. Walking catfish have a scaleless body, instead of scales they have a slimy body and have a long and elongated body. They are typically brown or grey and can walk on land with their pectoral fins. They move through the land in a snake-like manner and usually move around with the aim of finding a better environment to live in. 

Moreover, their slimy skin helps them on the land and protects them. They are also able to breathe on land as they have a different gill structure from other fishes. These fishes come as omnivores and eat eggs, larvae, crustaceans, and plant matter. 

2. Snakehead Fish 

Snakehead Fish 
Source: The New York Times

The snakehead fish has made enthusiasts enthralled by crossing the boundaries of aquatic. Despite being fish, they have evolved to the point that they can walk on land. Coming from Africa and Asia, these fish are worth giving attention to. 

They have elongated bodies and sleek heads which gives them their name snakehead. A fascinating thing is that this fish doesn’t use its fins for locomotion on land. Snakehead fish do so by moving their body in a wavy manner to walk on land. They have a unique respiratory system that allows them to breathe on land and can go days on land. These fishes are aggressive carnivores as well and they hunt frogs and other fishes. 

1. Mudskippers

Source: Wikipedia

In the vast and diverse realm of aquatic creatures, few stand out as remarkably as mudskippers. With their unique appearance and extraordinary ability to navigate both water and land, these captivating fish challenge our understanding of evolutionary adaptation. From their bulging eyes to their pectoral fins that function like limbs, mudskippers baffle us with their capabilities. 

These fishes can grow up to 12 inches in length and have a unique body that sets them apart from other fishes. They also have large eyes that bulge from their head and can even blink their eyes. As for their walking on land, they do so with their pectoral fins and can even climb on things. Moreover, along with walking, they can even mate, eat on land, and jump to about 2 feet high.


In conclusion, the world of aquatic life never fails to surprise us with its diversity and adaptability. The top 10 fishes that can walk on land showcase the incredible range of evolutionary strategies and abilities found within this unique group of species.

From the mudskippers’ synchronized movements to the bichir’s primitive charm, each fish offers a fascinating glimpse into the wonders of nature.

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