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Walking catfish may use their whole body to smell when on land

Walking catfish have taste buds all over their bodies, which may help them orient while on land

Noah Bressman

Walking catfish are sometimes literally fish out of water, but they can function quite well as a landlubber – and are now the first fish confirmed to be able to “smell” on land.

Native to Southeast Asia, walking catfish (Clarias batrachus) are not content to glide through a single body of water their whole lives. They can leave the water, breathing air and “walking” on their fins over land to nearby pools.

Similar amphibious fishes were assumed to use their vision …