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Tigerfish catches bird video shocks scientists worldwide

A tigerfish catches a bird in a viral video and the incident is the first report of a freshwater fish preying on birds. The amazing video footage was captured at a lake at Mapungubwe National Park, which is located in South Africa. As explained by a Jan. 9 report from Nature, the tigerfish catches bird video has surprised scientists worldwide because it was not previously confirmed that a goliath tigerfish ( Hydrocynus vittatus ) is able to jump and catch a bird in flight, although rumors of this phenomenon have been around for years.

“The whole action of jumping and catching the swallow in flight happens so incredibly quickly that after we first saw it, it took all of us a while to really fully comprehend what we had just seen,” explained Nico Smit, director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa. “The first reaction was one of pure joy, because we realized that we were spectators to something really incredible and unique.”

The team has just published the finding in the Journal of Fish Biology and Nature.com explained that the complete sequence of jumping and catching the fish (swallow) happened so incredibly fast that it took a while for researchers to really understand what they had just seen.

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Legend that tigerfish were able to catch flying birds have been circulating since the 1940s but until now, there has been no documented case of this occurrence. The team studied the fish and they witnessed 20 successful strikes on birds. “We hope that our findings will really focus the attention on the importance of basic freshwater research, and specifically fish behaviour,” Smit concluded.

Click the link in this sentence to view the tigerfish catches bird video.