Predatory fish of African

bird fishJournal of Fish Biology/Business Insider

Researchers in South Africa captured the first video footage of a freshwater fish lunging out of the water and snatching a bird in flight.

The behavior was discovered during a 15-day study on Schroda Dam, which created a man-made lake in the Mapungubwe National Park.

Freshwater fish, including some bass species, eels, and piranhas, have been shown to occasionally prey on birds that are swimming in water, or sitting on land close to the edge of the water, according to report published in the Journal of Fish Biology.

For example, the European catfish has learned how to leap onto gravely shores to catch pigeons.

But there are even fewer accounts of fish actually leaping out of the water to catch small birds.

Until now, there was only anecdotal evidence that the African tigerfish, a freshwater fish known scientifically as Hydrocynus vittatus, had the ability to propel itself out of the water and capture flying birds.

During the two-week survey, scientists observed as many as 20 successful attacks on low-flying barn swallows by African tigerfish each day.

The fish either attacked the birds as they were swimming near the surface of the water, or initiated a direct aerial strike from deeper water, according to the study. The second strategy appeared to be more successful.

A diagram of attack strategies is shown below:

The predation behavior "may have been adopted out of necessity due to food limitation, " the researchers write.

The act is risky — by preying on barn swallows in the air, the African tigerfish leaves itself open to being preyed on by other birds, including the African fish eagle.


Impact of spear fishing on the abundance of large predatory coral reef fishes
Book (The University)

You never could eat more than a couple servings

2008-01-25 09:32:19 by iamlucky13

Predatory fish, being near the top of their food chain, naturally tend to accumulate mercury. The levels haven't changed, but our understanding of the risks has, hence the advisories to limit fish intake to a couple servings per week.
I'm not saying coal is all peachy and dandy, and I understand there is some significant mess from old, dirty coal plants in the NE, but it's not really as bad as most people make it out to be.


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