At first glance, it is difficult to see, but the second time around with the video slowed down, you can see the tigerfish jumping out of the water to catch the swallow bird in flight.
Time Magazine notes that since the 1940s, African freshwater tigerfish have been rumored to jump out of water and catch birds in midflight. This video may be the first time ever that this amazing feat was caught on tape.
The bird that is captured by the tigerfish is a swallow, which is somewhat unusual because swallows are known for their speed and agility.
“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,” Nico Smit, director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University in South Africa, told Nature. “The first reaction was one of pure joy, because we realized that we were spectators to something really incredible and unique.”
Smith said that he and his team saw nearly two dozen successful attacks by fish on birds each day. Smit’s team made the observation during research at South Afridca’s Mapungubwe National Park, near the border with Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Of course, we most commonly see birds swooping down to catch fish, the video of a fish effectively turning the tables on birds is understandably causing a sensation on the Internet. The tigerfish have long been known for their ferocity, undoubtedly their reputation will grow by many multiples with this viral video. Watch the video above and feel free to leave you comments below.