Think humans are the only ones that go out fishing for a good time? Think again! There’s lots of animal life out there who also try their hand – or paw, or claw – at catching a fish for food or pleasure, some of which may be a surprise to you. Read on for info on six different animals that fish.
What, you don’t think orangutans fish? This lanky, deceivingly strong primate is not well known for its fishing abilities, but scientists have observed some orangutans using tools to catch fish, much like a human would. Specifically, orangutans have been known to spear fish, finding sharp sticks in the wild and lying in wait near shore to stab at approaching prey. If spearing doesn’t work, the force of the push and scoop can be enough to bring the fish onto shore for an easy meal.
Orangutans have been seen using tools to try and catch fish.
We all know dogs love to play, and that includes trying to catch fish for fun. Most dogs don’t try and eat fish, but many love to try catching them if water levels are low enough. The yellow lab in the above picture appears to be doing what all labs love to do, play in the water, but it doesn’t take long before it manages not only to catch a trophy fish, but carry it out of the water and onto shore successfully.
Unlike dogs, cats love to eat fish. Clever cats have often been seen pawing goldfish out of fish bowls for a snack. Or they just want to play with it, another feline characteristic. The cat in this picture seems to be a little perplexed by all the algae blocking what appears to be easy prey, mimicking the frustrations many anglers have when they know fish are in the area, but they just won’t bite.
Hundreds of different kinds of birds go after fish, both in fresh and saltwater environments. It’s a common tactic for anglers at sea to look for a swarm of birds near the surface of the water, for there’s a good chance a school of fish is nearby. Whether it’s the stand-wait-strike approach of the a blue heron, fast-diving penguins, or surface hunters like the bald eagle, birds from all over the world love catching fish.
We all know the story, salmon swim up the streams to spawn, leaping up waterfalls with all their might as they slowly die – or are eaten by patient, opportunistic brown bears. It’s an iconic image in the west coast of North America. Admittedly, it’s not so much fishing as it is waiting for fish to jump into their mouths, but you got to appreciate the coordination at play here for these bears.
The northern water snake isn’t the only slithery serpent that catches and eat fish; almost all species of snake that have an affinity for the water will grab a fish if they can, but northern water snakes make it their specialty. The water snake in this picture has no problem catching and swimming around with its prey.