Fish Missiles: The hunting tactic of Giant Trevally

Fish Missiles: The hunting tactic of Giant Trevally

Fish Missiles: The hunting tactic of Giant Trevally: On a tiny island in the Seychelles, about 400,000 pairs of sooty terns ufabet arrive to nest in August and September each year.

Fish Missiles

Fish Missiles: The hunting tactic of Giant Trevally

They choose to come here because it is remote and free from terrestrial predators, and the lagoons and shallow waters around the coral island are teeming with the staple diet of terns. Terns are shallow divers that catch small fish close to the surface, and one way they can do this is to shadow the larger predatory fish, such as giant trevally. Ufabet.

The big fish drive schools of smaller fish towards the surface and, in their desperate attempts to escape the jaws of the trevally, they fall prey to swooping terns.

In October, when parents are weary from feeding their chicks and the burgeoning tick population is unbearable, the young terns abandon their nests and must find food for themselves. They take to the air on unsteady wings, and the winds can be very blustery, so sometimes the birds fail to keep aloft.

They ditch in the sea. Bad mistake. Slam! Out of nowhere a huge fish grabs a fledgling and pulls it below. It is a giant trevally, and it has turned the tables. Instead of bird watching fish, fish watches bird.

At up to 1.7 metres long, giant trevallies are real titans. The biggest of the jack family, they have large, extendable jaws, and their behaviour in the Ufabet Seychelles is reminiscent of the tiger sharks that take Laysan albatross fledglings at French Frigate Shoals, except that the trevally have one up on the tigers: they catch birds in mid-air.

Giant trevally have exceptional eyesight and panoramic vision, and they congregate at key places in the clear waters on the lagoon side of the atoll, where they can see the silhouettes of a steady stream of birds overhead. As a tern flies low or hovers over the water, the trevally erupts from the surface.

It knocks the tern out of the sky or grabs the bird in its mouth, drags it below and swallows it.

The hunting tactic

Fish Missiles: The hunting tactic of Giant Trevally

Sometimes it decides the fish is too high and goes no further. However, if the bird stoops close enough to the water, the giant trevally launches itself like a missile and expands its mouth to the size of a football to enclose the bird and bring it down.

To see a metre-long fish leave the water and take down a fully grown tern is a dramatic sight, but some of the more exciting views were when the fish committed itself, but the bird, through incredible aerobatics, escaped at the last moment.

The hunting tactic seemed to depend on the size of ufabet fish. The smaller fish made the most dramatic leaps, and despite their exuberance they missed the birds a surprising number of times. It takes too much energy for the bigger fish to propel their huge bodies out of the water and perhaps they have learned that they have a better hit rate by targeting terns on or close to the water.

Giant trevallies normally pose little threat to people, but, even so, getting into the water with them was rather daunting. They are really large fish and apex predators with extremely powerful jaws.