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Scientists deep in the jungles of Central America have discovered a type of fish which can live happily for months out of water, in a development with enormous consequences for the English language.

Reuters reports that groups of Rivulus marmoratus, "a type of small tropical killifish" can live for long periods without water inside mangrove logs. It seems that the three- to five-inch-long paradoxical piscines are often found in other non-traditional fish habitats such as "coconut shells or even old beer cans".

Scott Taylor of the Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program in central Florida spoke to Reuters from his camp in the mangrove swamps of Belize.

"We kicked over a log and the fish just came tumbling out," he said, suggesting that in fact finding a fish out of water was as easy as falling off a log.

Taylor apparently said that the fish can survive for up to 66 days out of water without eating (perhaps by drinking beer).

The fish are notable for other characteristics besides their metaphor-busting habitat preferences. They are also hermaphroditic, according to Reuters:

"They have both testes and ovaries and essentially clone themselves by laying their own, already fertilized eggs."

One might say that they need a man like a fish out of water needs a bicycle. ®

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