You might have seen killer whales hunt like this, but probably not catfish.
French researchers at the University of Toulouse captured this video of catfish that hunt pigeons on the shore of the Tarn River in southwest France.
The filmmakers were able to get an incredible aerial view of catfish briefly beaching themselves to grab the pigeons. It seems like this sort of thing should run contrary to all their animal instincts. However, the River Tarn catfish appear to be quite adept at snagging the moving pigeons without putting themselves in harm's way now.
Have a look at these strange beaching behaviors by watching the video below:
This is not normal catfish behavior, according to a 2012 study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. We're sure this behavior has proven quite confusing to any angler who has witnessed it. Someone's missing out on a business opportunity for a new catfish lure here!
"This extreme behavior has not been reported in the native range of the species, our results suggest that some individuals in introduced predator populations may adapt their behavior to forage on novel prey in new environments, leading to behavioral and trophic specialization to actively cross the water-land interface," the study reads.
It is worth noting this kind of beaching behavior is not entirely unknown in nature. These catfish were using hunting methods also employed by Pacific dolphins and Argentinian killer whales, which sometimes drive their prey onto beaches to capture them. Almost everyone has seen footage of killer whales sliding up a beach to snag unsuspecting seals.
Now that you know clever catfish hunt pigeons, maybe you'll think twice about reaching your arm into that catfish hole next time.