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First Recorded Observation of Freshwater Fish Preying On Birds In Flight 93

ananyo writes "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.' 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 this is the first confirmed record of a freshwater fish preying on birds in flight, the team reports in the Journal of Fish Biology (PDF)."
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First Recorded Observation of Freshwater Fish Preying On Birds In Flight

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  • by Infiniti2000 ( 1720222 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:26PM (#45918253)
    I find it impressive for several reasons: the bird is moving fast, the fish is moving fast, and the refraction caused by the (moving)water/air boundary has to be accommodated by a fish with a brain the size of a politician's. This is so difficult, in fact, that I find it amazing the fish had ever developed this capability.
  • Bass to it (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday January 10, 2014 @01:34PM (#45918343)

    I've seen a Large mouth Bass catch a swallow in flight. It was only once... but we've often found them in their stomachs... as well as squirrels, chipmunks, once we found a dudes wallet (I have no idea why it'd eat that) My uncle. who's been a bass fisherman for 50yrs. has a favorite line "If Bass got as big as sharks I'd never go in the water"

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