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Fish perform giant leaps on land

5 October 2011 Last updated at 19:51 BST

Unlikely looking aerobatics performed by fish have given researchers an insight into how aquatic animals evolved to live on land.

Researchers discovered that at least six different types of fish are able to launch themselves into the air from a solid surface.

The team said this was an evolutionary snapshot of the transition from living in water to inhabiting land.

They published their findings in the Journal of Experimental Zoology A.

In this slow-motion clip, a zebrafish uses it body like a spring, curling up and then pushing down to take off.

Footage courtesy of Alice Coulter Gibb, Northern Arizona University