Fish that hunt land animals. These underwater creatures have a preference for small mammals & birds. Let’s take a look at fish that only feed on land animals.
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Voiceover by Carl Mason: [email protected]
Mudskippers are found in temperate, subtropical and tropical regions, including the Atlantic coast of Africa and the Indo-Pacific. Like the name would suggest, this fish has several fascinating adaptations which enable it to travel on land as well as in the water. They’re able to walk or ‘skip’ on land by using their pectoral fins. On land, they breath through their skin, throat and the mucous lining of their mouth. This is called cutaneous air breathing and it’s similar to the way amphibians breathe on land. However, this is only possible when mudskippers are moist which is why they tend to be restricted to humid habitats.
8 Tiger Shark
Up until recently the consensus was that tiger sharks only feed on marine animals and water birds. Then, a researcher from Dauphin Island Sea Lab named Marcus Drymon made an interesting discovery in 2009. After he saw a tiger shark off the coast of Alabama, Drymon noticed that the shark had coughed up feathers. Interestingly enough, these feathers didn’t belong to a water bird. This led Drymon to suspect that tiger sharks might be supplementing their diets with other types of birds.
7 Wels Catfish
Wels Catfish is, by all accounts, a true river monster. He had attempted to grab the fish in a hold, but soon regretted the decision. Wels Catfish can potentially weigh over 660 pounds, while measuring up to 16 feet. That’s significantly larger than any human being. Even though reports of such giants have become a rarity in recent years, an interesting tendency has been observed in medium-sized catfish from the Tarn River, in Albi France. They’ve reportedly developed an ability to grab pigeons from the riverbank. It’s also suspected that the larger specimens can’t swim the shallow waters to get to the riverbank.
6 African Tigerfish
This fish genus, native to the African continent, is commonly referred to as tigerfish. The scientific name for the genus is Hydrocynus and it consists of five species, which are all typically piscivorous, meaning they feed on other fish. Hydrocynus vittatus, however, has been recorded displaying a rather unique adaptation. It’s the only freshwater fish species proven to prey on birds in flight. Different strategies have also been observed. The first time this phenomenon was observed, it happened so fast that the team responsible for recording it, barely had time to realize what happened.
5 Eel Catfish
Researchers speculate that the eel catfish uses the same method to hunt on land that was used by the first vertebrates around 420 million years ago. To catch insects on land, the eel catfish will arch its specialized spine to rise above its prey, which usually consists of various insects. Then the eel descends on it, trapping its prey against the ground and bending its mouth around it.
4 Silver Arowana
The silver arowana is native to South America and some species are known to reach almost 4ft in length. In its native waters, the silver arowana is known as the ‘monkey fish’ for its ability to catch food by jumping out of the water. They typically swim near the surface while looking out for potential creatures on tree branches. Despite this impressive technique, the silver arowana usually uses its drawbridge-like mouth to eat animals floating on the surface, like crustaceans or smaller fish.
3 Rainbow Trout
This creature will eat nearly anything it captures with a varied diet including insects, smaller fish and even some small land mammals. In 2013, a researcher discovered a rainbow trout with 20 shrews in its stomach. This furthered understanding of how apt the fish is at tackling land prey.
The stream is shaped by the fish’s mouthparts to travel faster at the rear than at the front, forming a type of blob that impacts the target. From around 3 to nearly 7ft, they’re remarkably accurate. It has recently emerged that archerfish also use jets for underwater. Experts don’t know which technique developed first, whether it was the aerial or underwater one. According to one theory, they evolved in parallel, complementing each other the more they were used by the archerfish.
1 Snakehead Fish
Snakeheads are elongated fish with large mouths, and long dorsal fins. There are 40 snakehead species belonging to two main types, the Parachanna, native to Africa, and the Channa, in Asia. That’s bad news for animals on the shorelines or riverbanks as some snakehead species, like the northern snakehead, can grow to be over 3ft. National Geographic has described the snakehead as ‘fishzilla’.