Eel-like catfish can 'walk' on land

Apr 13, 2006

A researcher at Belgium's Ghent University reportedly has discovered an eel-like catfish that can wriggle out of the water to stalk prey on land.

Scientists told National Geographic News the discovery by Biology Professor Dominique Adriaens may shed light on how some prehistoric fish species evolved into land animals.

Like many fish, the eel catfish is a typical suction feeder when it's in the water -- it sucks in a mouthful of water and its prey. But on land the eel catfish lifts the front part of its body and bends its head down toward the ground. That ability is essential to thriving on land, write the researchers whose findings appear in the journal Nature.

Adriaens, a co-author of the study, told NGN her discovery is significant for anyone studying evolution. "It shows that a transition from aquatic feeding to terrestrial feeding is possible without the necessity of a lot of spectacular (body form) and functional changes and can thus be explained by Darwinian evolution."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Five edible insects you really should try

Sep 04, 2013

Edible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they're cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.

Assessing the sustainability of aquaculture production

Aug 22, 2013

Global consumption of seafood has risen dramatically over the last decade, due to a growing population, increased affluence and changing eating habits - many now see seafood as a healthy alternative to meat. ...

The spiralling cost of invasive species

Aug 28, 2012

Some aliens arrived as stowaways. Others were brought in deliberately, for fun or profit. And others were so tiny that nobody noticed them until way too late.

Philippines to fight invading species

Mar 09, 2011

Like some bad science-fiction movie, Philippine fishermen are encountering strange alien creatures: tough, speckled fish with sharp spines that tear and rip their nets.

Recommended for you

The psychology of gift-giving and receiving

41 minutes ago

Gift exchanges can reveal how people think about others, what they value and enjoy, and how they build and maintain relationships. Researchers are exploring various aspects of gift-giving and receiving, such as how givers ...

Strong neighborhood ties can help reduce gun violence

2 hours ago

The bonds that tie a neighborhood together can help shield community members from gun violence, according to new findings by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.