In South America, piranhas are well-known for their penchant for gathering in huge schools and stripping the flesh off animals in minutes. But they are not the only fish in South America that participate in this unusual and somewhat frightening behavior.
The rivers of South America are home to a variety of catfish species, and some of these species travel in ravenous schools.
— River Monsters (@RiverMonstersUK) August 9, 2017
Watch what happens when a fisherman throws some fish guts into waters known to contain predatory catfish…
Now, what species of catfish are these ones in particular? We don’t quite know. According to John Lundberg, PhD., Curator Emeritus of Ichthyology at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, they might be “catfish of the family Pimelodidae and possibly of the genera Pinirampus, Calophysus, or Pimelodus”.
That still doesn’t quite narrow down the species, but at least, it gives us a better idea of what kind of catfish we’re dealing with. Catfish in the family Pimelodidae are commonly known as long-whiskered catfish, and they can grow rather large.
Below, you can watch the full video of the gif above with sound. As the fishermen throw meat into the water, you can hear the writhing mass of hungry catfish boiling in the turbid waters.