Killer Catfish and Adaptive Behavior…

catfish– – Too often, fish are regarded as dumber than a  sack of hammers.  This may not be true of all of our finned friends, however.  In France, researchers at the University of Toulouse have observed catfish hunting pigeons as prey in a development scientists are calling evidence of adaptive behavior. 

European catfish originated east of the Rhine River, but were introduced to the Tarn River in 1983.  They adapted their natural behavior to feed on novel prey in the area, grabbing pigeons on the shore, and dragging them into the water; this behavior has not been known to occur in the native range of the species.  In France, pigeons gather along the river gravel to clean and bathe as the catfish patrol the water’s edge.  When the three to five-feet long catfish hunt the pigeons, they even temporarily strand themselves on land for a few seconds to grab their meal.  The hunting habits of the Tarn catfish are so similar to orcas that they have been called, “freshwater killer whales…”

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2 Comments on “Killer Catfish and Adaptive Behavior…”

  1. carycomic Says:

    Latin America has a species known as “the walking catfish” that was accidentally introduced to Florida back in the Sixties. And, it’s only because of the more recent notoriety of the feral python phenomenon that they are now virtually ignored (as an invasive species) by John Q. Public. That being said; I sure hope these pigeon-eaters (East European welses?) don’t develop the same amphibious capability!

    • vulpesffb Says:

      “The Walking Catfish” sounds like a failed pilot for the AMC channel. Wisely, they decided to go with “The Walking Dead” instead….


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