strange behaviors

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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We Need Some of These Suckers in New York City

Posted by Richard Conniff on December 6, 2012

O.k., I know that introduced species are a recipe for disaster.  Pigeons in New York City, for instance.  But this is just so sweet.   A catfish from Europe that thinks it’s a freshwater killer whale, and leaps out of the water to seize its feathery prey.  Let’s go to the video, showing behavior filmed on the Tarn River in Southwestern France:

Here’s the background:

A new study published in PLoS One has revealed that the Wels catfish (Silurus glanis) is successful at hunting birds on the shore. The research found the catfish was able to catch a pigeon 28% of the time, out of 45 observed beaching behaviors.

The researchers say, “Since 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.”

catfish with cigarBack to the idea of how great these would be in Manhattan, here’s a photo of one Wels catfish, fat, ugly, and with what looks like a cigar in his mouth, just the thing for fitting in on Wall Street.

Source:  Cucherousset J, Boulêtreau S, Azémar F, Compin A, Guillaume M, et al. (2012) “Freshwater Killer Whales”: Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50840. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050840

One Response to “We Need Some of These Suckers in New York City”

  1. margueritabornstein said

    post it on my facebook best


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