We have always heard that the most important factor for fish survival is water. You have probably seen many species that can jump out of the water for a few seconds but you’ll be surprised to know that they are capable of surviving out of the water for a longer time. Let’s find out.
How Long Can Fish Survive Out Of Water?
Well, the survival strategies that a fish adapt to live out of the water depending upon their capability, the type of fish, their metabolic rate, and the oxygen requirement as some fishes can live out of the water for a few seconds or minutes whereas some species are evolved to stay out of the water for a longer time, even months. In general, it has been observed that fishes have the ability to stay out of the water from 10 minutes to two months maximum.
Which Species Can Live Out Of The Water?
Some of the fishes which can live out of the water are:
1: Pet Fish
Pet fish such as Goldfish can survive out of the water because they have fragile gills which help them in this regard. These fishes are can survive for a maximum of 10 minutes. However, some saltwater fishes are also able to stay out of the water for 20 minutes maximum.
2: Amphibious Fish
These fishes have the exceptional capability of living out of the water for days or even months. Amphibious fishes such as Atlantic mudskipper can spend more time on land. The special lining of their throat allows them to breathe oxygen and act as a gill when in the water.
Similarly, Mangrove killifish can live for a maximum of 2 months out of the water because they can absorb oxygen via skin.
3: Large Ocean Fish
Ocean’s largest creatures such as whales, dolphins, and sharks have lungs that allow them to breathe atmospheric oxygen when coming near the water’s surface. When under the water, the blowhole closes which blocks the entry of water into the lungs. On average, they will live for 10 minutes out of the water.
4: Walking Catfish
The Catfish have specialized features which allow them to live out of the water for a long time. They have unique gills structures which take in the atmospheric oxygen and help these species to stay out for a maximum of 18 hours.
5: Lung Fish
These fishes inhabit the freshwater habitat and are adapted to live on the land as well. Though these fishes also bear gills but use their lungs to breathe air. Approximately, they can stay out of the water for a maximum of 4 years or even more when they enter the aestivation stage.
What Happen To The Fishes If They Stay Out Of The Water?
Each fish is not capable of living out of the water, if they are taken out, then it will experience severe dehydration. Further, the supply of oxygen to their cells reduces because they can’t respire atmospheric oxygen which ultimately leads to the shrinkage of the cells. Thus, If such species are not returned to water soon, then they will ultimately die soon.
Why Do Fishes Choose To Stay Out Of The Water?
There are a few reasons which make them leave the water habitat.
- To avoid predatory animals.
- To avoid contaminated water conditions.
- If the water contains low oxygen, then they prefer the land habitat.
- When they face food shortages, they inhibit water habitats.
- The drying of biomes may force them to leave the water.
Not all species of fish are capable of living out of the water however some can survive out of the water for a particular period. The length of the time depends upon certain factors like their metabolic rate, and oxygen requirement will determine how long can a fish stay out of the water.