Dining in the dark

Hunting methods of catfish in dark water

source: Eugenie Samuel
New Scientist June 16 2001 p21

Thomas Breithaupt and Kirsten Pohlmann are two researchers from Konstanz University, Germany, who have investigated how catfish hunt in the dark. They found that catfish that are hunting guppies follow eddies created by guppies’ tails. The guppies make both primary eddies, from the movement of their bodies through water, and secondary eddies, from their tail movements. These secondary eddies provide useful information of the direction the guppy is going. Other predatory fish may use similar methods.

The researchers want to use this information to develop a robot, which could help marine biologists study the movements of fish, through tracking eddies left by passing fish.