Catfish hunt pigeons on land
Run, pigeon, run.
Tue, Dec 11 2012 at 2:41 PM
It’s known that hungry killer whales will fling themselves upon the shore to grasp an unsuspecting sea lion, and we’ve seen octopuses take their many legs for a ramble around the rocks. But the business going down in southwestern France takes the cake for aquatic denizens getting freaky on terra firma.
Along the river Tarn, the European catfish have developed a taste for pigeon. (So French.) One wouldn’t expect that behavior to be common or very successful, it seems more like the antics of a lone, athletically prodigious, and somewhat psychopathic fish — but biologist Julien Cucherousset, who filmed the video below from a bridge above, witnessed 54 attacks. 28 times, he reports, the fish secured its feathered prey.
Scientists say it's a display of adaptive behavior at work. The European catfish is an invasive species, which often create ecological and evolutionary adaptations in their new environment — the occurrence of new behaviors can increase invasive species success, to the chagrin of native species. And pigeons.
The following clip — like Jaws for the pigeon set — is not recommended for friends of pigeons, or anyone who may live in fear of giant, ruthless, predatory catfish.
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