Experts concerned over invasive fish that can walk on land for days without water

Experts concerned over invasive fish that can walk on land for days without water

climbing perchThe climbing perch (Anabas testudineus) is frightening some scientists in Australia due to its resilience. It can survive out of water for up to six days, crawling across land. If it does not fall into the normal pattern of fish in the food chain, it could multiply rapidly and destroy other species and habitats.

Discovery reports,

According to Dr. Nathan Waltham, a James Cook University scientist currently tracking the perch’s movement, the fish can also survive in the mud of a dried-up creek bed for half a year. Originally believed to be a freshwater fish, the perch is thought to be able to tolerate limited amounts of saltwater.

The highly invasive fish has a will of steel, and is said to outcompete native species with relative ease. When swallowed by a predator, it won’t go down without a fight: the tiny menace will swell up exponentially, choking out its captor.

Native to Asia, the climbing perch has already established itself as far south as Papua New Guinea. Experts are concerned that it could be inching its way toward mainland Australia by way of the Torres Strait — it has already been sighted on Boigu and Saibai, two islands between Papua New Guinea and Australia, and would be “difficult” to eradicate.

Ironically, the the same resilience that allows the climbing perch to live outside of water also keeps it fresh longer after it dies, making it highly desirable for eating. Hopefully it will become a popular fish to eat, helping keep its numbers down.

Rachel Alexander

Rachel Alexander is the editor of Intellectual Conservative. She is a senior editor at The Stream, and is a regular contributor to Townhall, the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, and The Christian Post, and provides weekend news items for Right Wing News. She frequently appears on TV and news radio as a conservative commentator. She is a recovering attorney and former gun magazine editor. She previously served as a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Arizona, corporate attorney for Go Daddy Software, and Special Assistant/Deputy County Attorney for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. As co-president of the UW Political Science Honor Society, she obtained degrees in Political Science and History from the University of Washington, followed by a law degree from Boston College and the University of Arizona. She was ranked by Right Wing News as one of the 50 Best Conservative Columnists from 2011-2017.

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