Oh You Know, Just Some Giant Pigeon-Hunting Catfish

December 10, 2012


This is a video of pigeon-hunting catfish in the shallows of the River Tarn in Southwestern France. Basically the 1 - 1.5-meter (~3 - 5-foot) long European Catfish throw themselves onto land when they sense a bird nearby, then wriggle themselves back into the water to swallow it. As hard as I tried, no amount of shaking my head while watching the video made them look like mermaids.

Catfish get their name for the long, sensitive whiskers (or 'barbels') on their upper jaws, and the Tarn fishes would erect theirs when they were hunting pigeons. This, combined with the fact that only moving pigeons were ever attacked, suggests that the fish are sensing the vibrations of birds that approached the water.

Alerted to the fishes' behaviour by local fishermen, Cucherousset watched them from a bridge overlooking the island. Over the summer of 2011, he filmed 54 attacks, of which 28 percent were successful.

I dunno, are people really that surprised about this? After all, they are -- wait for it -- CATfish. Cats love hunting birds! *smiling smugly* "That was f***ing terrible, GW." Ugh, I'm gonna go wash my mouth out with fireworks.

Hit the jump for a video of the carnage.

Thanks to keith, Amy and Pogonophile, who are convinced it's only a matter of time before those fish start developing legs and making their way on land. You know -- revolution. "It's EVOLUTION." Whatever.

  • alexandrek

    Venice could use few of them

  • They are catfish after all.

  • Veybi

    At Brazil, the turtles eat pigens too: http://www.youtube.com/watc...
    That's because all turtles here are like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! BÔNUS: Slow motion of the attac and Guile soundtrack!


  • JJtoob

    The pigeons look like they are somewhat willing to become sacrifice for the catfish god.

  • alexandrek

    or they are as stupid as they look

  • ATAVU5

    reminds me of the pelican eating a pidgeon.. and the smile on the reporter's face when she says "that's terrible" : PRICELESS. http://www.youtube.com/watc...

  • archer923

    So they show a video about pigeons getting what they deserve. But we can't see anything. Thanks a lot.

  • n_a_a_s

    oh nom nom norn nom

  • n11

    Flying fish anytime now!

  • Matthew Anderson

    AH, THAT's why THEY're so tasty!!!

  • taran420

    Cut out the middle-man and just eat the pigeon?

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