strange behaviors

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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Fish Leaps, Takes Down Bird on The Wing

Posted by Richard Conniff on January 9, 2014

O.k., in recent months we’ve seen an eagle tackling a saiga deer, and an Australian wedge-tailed eagle carrying off a fox.

Now comes proof that, while birds may be dinosaurs once removed, even a fish will now and then take one down.

Here’s the report from Daniel Cressy at Nature:

1.14496-ALAMY-AWKWNFThe waters of the African lake seem calm and peaceful. A few migrant swallows flit near the surface. Suddenly, leaping from the water, a fish grabs one of the famously speedy birds straight out of the air.

“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,” says Nico Smit, director of the Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management at North-West University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

After the images did sink in, he adds, “the first reaction was one of pure joy, because we realized that we were spectators to something really incredible and unique”.

Read the full account here.

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