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VIDEO: Wels Catfish Catch and Eat Unsuspecting Pigeons

Natalie Krebs Avatar

There’s a new population of Wels catfish in southern France, and these weird fish are anything but bottom-feeders.

A study published yesterday reveals the region’s invasive catfish (Silurus glanis) are actually breaching along shorelines to capture pigeons.

Researchers observed a total of 54 attempts to catch a bird by up to nine different catfish. Of those attempts, 28 percent resulted in a successful capture. What’s more, the catfish only pursue active pigeons. Motionless pigeons were never attacked, even if they were close to a fish.

According to, no one’s really sure why the catfish are upending the food chain. These European catfish aren’t native to that part of France, and researchers think the alien species is just adapting to the novel prey in its new environment.