Video: Fish leaps to catch birds on the wing

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See video at the link below

The waters of the African lake seem calm and peaceful. A few migrant swallows flit near the surface. Suddenly, leaping from the water, a fish grabs one of the famously speedy birds straight out of the air.

“The whole action of jumping and catching the swallow in flight happens so incredibly quickly that after we first saw it, it took all of us a while to really fully comprehend what we had just seen,” says Nico Smit, director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

After the images did sink in, he adds, “the first reaction was one of pure joy, because we realized that we were spectators to something really incredible and unique”.

This is the first confirmed record of a freshwater fish preying on birds in flight, the team reports in the Journal of Fish Biology. Rumours of such behaviour by the African tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus), which has been reported as reaching one metre in length, have circulated since the 1940s. But Smit says that his team was “never really convinced by the anecdotal reports”. So, when they set out to study of the migration and habitat use of these animals in a South African lake in the Mapungubwe National Park, near the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe, they were not necessarily looking for fish flying out of the water.

Written By: Daniel Cressey
continue to source article at nature.com

4 COMMENTS

  1. @OP- The waters of the African lake seem calm and peaceful. A few migrant swallows flit near the surface. Suddenly, leaping from the water, a fish grabs one of the famously speedy birds straight out of the air.

    Fish have been jumping for insects from time immemorial, but there are probably only few which are big enough to take birds on the wing. Large predatory fish will take water-birds such as ducklings when they are swimming on the surface of the water. Sharks will also take sea-birds from the surface of the water.

    This catfish it seems also likes pigeons when they come to the water’s edge to drink.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLT7U3VSCKQ

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