Tuesday Fun: African Tigerfish Catches Bird Mid-Flight – VIDEO

SnowBrains |

Ah, the Tigerfish.  Africa’s answer to the infamous Piranha, but maybe even more vicious.  Certainly more accurate.  This video shows a African Tigerfish jumping out of the water and grabbing a bird in flight..

Think of the complexity of the situation:  This Tigerfish was underwater, chasing a bird as it flew close to the water, then calculated the change in angle (water bends light resulting in something in the air appearing to be in a different spot than it actually is), finally jumping out of the water and chomping the bird while it flies by.  Unreal.

African Tigerfish.
African Tigerfish.


Tigerfish can refer to fish from various families, and derives from official and colloquial associations of these with the Asian tiger (Panthera tigris). However, the primary species designated by the name “tigerfish” are African and belong to the family Alestidae.

African Tigerfish

Several species belonging to the genus Hydrocynus of the family Alestidae are referred to as “tigerfish,” and are particularly prized as gamefish. These African fish are found in many rivers and lakes on the continent and are fierce predators with distinctive, proportionally large teeth.

The goliath tigerfish (Hydrocynus goliath) is among the most famous tigerfish. It can reportedly reach an adult weight of 50 kg (110 lb), and is found in the Congo River system and Lake Tanganyika. It is the largest member of the Alestidae family. Another famous species, simply called the tigerfish (Hydrocynus vittatus), is commonly found in the southernly Okavango Delta, and theZambezi River, and also in the two biggest lakes along the Zambezi, Lake Kariba in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Cabora Bassa in Mozambique, and finally in the Jozini dam in South Africa.

Both the goliath tigerfish and its smaller relative bear a striking resemblance, in appearance and habits, to the dorados of South America. The African alestidae tigerfish species are silver, as opposed to the most famous species of dorado, which is golden. Coincidentally, the dorado is known as the “tigre del rio” (tiger of the river) in its homeland.(Although ‘tigre’ can refer to any predatory cat in this part of the world)


African Tigerfish.
African Tigerfish.


In the western gamefishing world, Hydrocynus vittatus is regarded to be Africa’s equivalent of the South American piranha,[citation needed] though it belongs to a completely different zoological family. Like the piranha, individual tigerfish have interlocking, razor-sharp teeth, along with streamlined, muscular bodies, and are widely known to be extremely aggressive and capable predators who often hunt in groups.

The African tigerfish is the first freshwater fish to be recorded and confirmed to attack and catch birds in flight.[1]

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One thought on “Tuesday Fun: African Tigerfish Catches Bird Mid-Flight – VIDEO

  1. Now I am truly worried.. Monster fish article on SB in mid January.. Must really be little snow at Squaw and it’s getting to your snowbrains !

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