fascinating stuff here from Smarter Every Day via The Ozark Fly Fisher Journal showing us just how cool and more importantly, how our slimy friends have adapted and evolved their eating methods through time.
i’d found the image above years ago on the net (sorry, no source) where the explanation behind it was that in many cases, trout will suck in a bug from quite a distance through a vortex created by opening the mouth and thrusting the water out through the gills effectively sucking the prey in instead of munching down on the meal with its teeth as most of us mammals do.
the videos below show and explain this action in high-quality slomo video confirming the ‘vortex’ method of feeding.
note that this method is mostly used by toothless or smaller-toothed fish. in the case of trout, a lot of bugs and smaller stuff will get sucked in and use their teeth when they go for forage fish.
an example of a (very) toothed fish that clamps its prey are pike. they’ll typically chomp, grab and hold their prey for a while until its stunned and later turn it so its facing them and then swallow it whole. yum !
but then, some fish aren’t all that smart and sometimes they get a little confused on which technique to use…