Mudskippers Teach Us about God’s Design

periophthalmus_modestusThe animal kingdom is full of astounding examples of God’s design and creative power. One of my favorite examples is the found in the lives of the mudskippers.

The BBC1 and National Geographic have recently done video reports on mudskippers, fish that can breathe air and spend most of their time out of the water, in mudflats left behind by tidal waters. They are the only fish to travel and mate on land. Mudskippers are perhaps most famous for “mudwrestling” one another for territory.

The mudskipper also uses its large mouth to scoop mud and burrow under ground. Its U-shaped tunnel not only helps it to stay moist and cool, but also—astonishingly—provides a secure place for a sealed above-water chamber, the walls of which are lined with eggs. This sealed incubation chamber would shortly run out of oxygen, however, if not for one fact: The male mudskipper parent repeatedly emerges from the tunnel, takes a big gulp of fresh air, swims back to the chamber, and releases the air, which replenishes the oxygen for the eggs. He repeats this cycle hundreds of times until the eggs hatch.

The theory of organic evolution requires us to believe that the mudskipper’s provision for its eggs is the result not of design, but of mere chance or accident. Is this plausible? Before you answer, consider that one research study in the Journal of Experimental Biology explains that the mudskipper has

“a reproductive strategy that allows it to nurture eggs in this severe habitat rather than migrating away from the mudflat. This requires that mudskipper eggs be specialized to develop in air and that the air-breathing capacity of the egg-guarding male be integrated in a complex behavioural repertoire that includes egg guarding, ferrying air to and from the egg chamber, and sensing [oxygen] levels therein, all in concert with the tidal cycle.” 

The theory of evolution asks us to believe that total lack of complexity gave rise to a “complex behavioural repertoire,” and that total lack of strategy led to “a reproductive strategy.” Such is not plausible. We will continue to teach the truth, which is stated succinctly in Hebrews 3:4: “[T]he builder of all things is God.” His creative power is the source of all life, including the magnificent animals we observe. Are you currently a servant of this all-powerful Lord?


  1. “Life,” TV show, 2010, Episode 4. 

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- 2017