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“Freshwater Killer Whales”: Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds

Home Forums Ichthyology “Freshwater Killer Whales”: Beaching Behavior of an Alien Fish to Hunt Land Birds

This topic contains 0 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  BigTom 5 years, 10 months ago.

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  • #302496

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Abstract

    The behavioral strategies developed by predators to capture and kill their prey are fascinating, notably for predators that forage for prey at, or beyond, the boundaries of their ecosystem. We report here the occurrence of a beaching behavior used by an alien and large-bodied freshwater predatory fish (Silurus glanis) to capture birds on land (i.e. pigeons, Columbia livia). Among a total of 45 beaching behaviors observed and filmed, 28% were successful in bird capture. Stable isotope analyses (δ13C and δ15N) of predators and their putative prey revealed a highly variable dietary contribution of land birds among individuals. 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.

    Open access via Plos One.

    News piece.

    #349453

    BigTom
    Participant

    Reassuring that that got into Plos… trying to put together stable isotope analysis of my mice at the moment and am looking at about 600 prey samples compared to their 15!

     

    Worth adding to the KB Matt? – writing the dietary requirements would be enough fun to make it worth the effort :P

     

    Edit – already in there!

    #349454

    Matt
    Keymaster

    Yep it’s already there, but in need of some serious editing! Also written a quick news item with video about this research:

    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/freshwater-killer-whales-hunt-birds/

    Are you hoping to publish in Plos then Tom?

    #349457

    BigTom
    Participant

    Well I’ve just passed a lot of the work on to a colleague as I’m a bit swamped. Should hopefully get a co-author out of it, but need to see the results first before we think about which Journal to aim for.

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