3 Types of Fish That Can Climb Trees

Mangrove killifish or mangrove rivulus
Wikimedia Commons/Vassil

What would do if you saw a fish in a tree? That's a real possibility if you happen to come across any of these fascinating creatures. Even though it might be hard to wrap your head around, this is no joke -- these amazing fish really do exist. 

Mangrove Killifish

The mangrove killifish (Rivulus marmoratus), found among the mangroves in Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean, is a strange fish indeed. For starters, this is the only vertebrate animal that is known to fertilize its own eggs. There are males and females in the species, but most of these little fish are hermaphrodites.

Mangrove killifish are able to alter their gills to be able to live out of the water. When the water around the mangroves dries up, these fish climb up into the trees and hide in logs until the water returns. Once it's safe, they change their gills back and venture back to the water.

Climbing Gourami

Gouramis are a beautiful fish and a great addition to any home aquarium, but a little-known fact is that they have the ability to climb. They hail from Africa and Southern Asia.

One type is called a climbing perch (Anabas testudineus). If the water it lives in dries out, it will climb out and travel in search of a new home. Its gills are spiny, and the climbing perch can use them (as well as its anal fin) to even climb up trees.

Climbing Catfish

The most recent discovery by scientists is the Lithogenes wahari or climbing catfish. This member of the catfish family can actually grasp with its pelvic fin. Specimens have been found clinging to rocks, but it's not a stretch to think that they could climb trees too. This fish also has a sort of bony armor that protects its head and tail.