Yes, you read that title correctly. A group of catfish in southwest France have learned how to hunt pigeons.
According to the Discover Magazine blog, Not Rocket Science, a group of European catfish in the River Tarn have been jumping out of the water to grab pigeons sitting on the bank.
The European catfish is the largest freshwater fish in Europe, growing up to 1.5 meters long, and has no problem taking on a little pigeon. Of course, there is that little problem about not being able to breathe on land. Discover Magazine notes that the fish temporarily stand themselves when they hunt pigeons but they are able to wiggle themselves back into the water with their prey.
The catfish isn’t the only marine animal to hunt animals on land. Julien Cucherousset from Paul Sabatier University in Toulouse noted that the European catfish is acting in a very similar way to the killer whale.
The killer whale will ride the surf up onto the beach in order to catch sea lions. The catfish is using the same technique but on a much smaller scale. Cucherousset even dubbed the European catfish the “freshwater killer whale.”
Here’s a video of the catfish group that learned to hunt pigeons.
Here’s a video of an Orca hunting sea lions off the coast of Argentina.