Barn swallows swallowed by tigerfish

This video from South Africa says about itself:

9 Jan 2014

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! This swallow-swallowing behaviour, long talked about anecdotally, has now been documented by scientists for the first time.

Science, Space & Robots writes about this:

Video: African Tigerfish Catches Bird in Flight

An African tigerfish was captured on video capturing a swallow in mid-flight. Nature reports that the African tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus) has been rumored to jump and catch birds in mid-flight, but this was the first recording of the activity. The behavior was observed in the Schroda Dam, a man-made lake in South Africa. The fish can reach up to one meter in length and have sharp teeth.

Professor Nico Smit, co-author of the study, told BBC News, “The African tigerfish is one of the most amazing freshwater species in the world. It is a striking fish with beautiful markings on the body, bright red fins and vicious teeth.”

The researchers say they saw 20 successful attempts by African tigerfish to catch and eat swallows during the 15 day study. The research was published here in the Journal of Fish Biology.

Posted on January 13, 2014

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1 thought on “Barn swallows swallowed by tigerfish

  1. Pingback: Coastal bird count, from Europe to South Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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