ALBI, France — Scientists in France have found a group of catfish who have learned how to catch and kill birds – on the beach.
According to Discover Magazine’s Not Rocket Science blog, researchers along the River Tarn in southwestern France have found a group of European catfish – the largest freshwater fish on the continent at up to nearly five feet in length – patrolling a small gravel island that is a popular hangout spot for pigeons.
The catfish lunge from the water onto the beach, grab a pigeon and then wriggle back into the water to eat their prey. The behavior led one researcher to dub the fish, “freshwater killer whales”.
Scientists say that during one observation period over the summer of 2011, they captured 54 attacks on video – of which 28 percent were successful.