I haven’t catfish blogged in a while, so this is worthwhile. Another article in today’s Nature is of interest. In this one, the authors describe the ability of the eel catfish, Channallabes apus to forage onland. Importantly, they note that the species’ “capacity to bend its head down towards the ground while feeding seems to be an essential feature that may have enabled fish to make the transition from an aquatic to a terrestrial mode” and go on to point out that the species and others such as Ichthyostega, the recently described Tiktaalik, and terrestrially feeding Periophthalminae (terrestrially feeding mudskippers) all show “dorso-ventral flexion of the presacral vertebral column, and this may have allowed these animals to capture prey on land more effectively.” Isn’t in nice when all the evidence comes together?
The paper is Van Wassenbergh et al. (2006) “Evolution: A catfish that can strike its prey on land” Nature 440, 881 (13 April 2006) | doi:10.1038/440881a