Saturday, 10 September 2016

Do Not Mess With Fish 224,

and you thought fish were fun!

well researchers from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia think there is something funny going on, they had a tip off that the Ashburton River catfish's (Neoarius graeffei), were growing much larger than populations in other areas, an average lesser salmon catfish will look sleek and grow to about 50 cm long, the Ashburton River catfish can often reach 75 cm in length, so what was causing the fish in this area to grow so large? mice! or to be precise spinifex hopping mice (Notomys alexis), a jumpy little native species that keeps to the arid, desert areas of central and western Australia, so what were they doing in the stomachs of catfish? "It was pretty surprising - about half had at least one in their stomach, and two of them had three," one of the team, David Morgan, told Shannon Verhagen at Australian Geographic, "Overall, 95 percent of the total stomach contents constituted spinifex hopping mice." the researchers suspect that the underground burrows of the mice are collapsing in heavy rains, and this could send their bodies into the hungry mouths of the catfish in the river nearby, but as of yet that is just a theory, perhaps the mice just decided en mass to have a swim! If you want to read the full paper ‘Mammal predation by an ariid catfish in a dryland river of Western Australia’ have a look here.

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