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A Big Meal for a Small Trout

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A 19-inch rainbow trout caught in Alaska's Kanektok River was found to contain 20 shrews. Image credit: Alaska Department of Fish and Game A 19-inch rainbow trout caught in Alaska's Kanektok River was found to contain 20 shrews. Image credit: Alaska Department of Fish and Game

Researchers opened up a rainbow trout in Alaska's Togiak National Wildlife Refuge and were surprised to find the fish had eaten 20 shrews.

 

 

 

 

 

 



Source: LiveScience


To make matters stranger the fish was relatively small, measuring only 19 inches (48 centimeters) long.


Mark Lisac, a fish biologist at Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska said:

“That's an awful lot for one fish to put down, but that said, rainbows and related fish species have been known to eat shrews and other small mammals, including rodents, and many species of freshwater fish are opportunistic feeders that will chow down on a wide variety of prey.”


This rainbow trout report trumps the previous record of seven shrews eaten (at least that Lisac is aware of), which was held by a grayling.


But how did the rainbow end up with such a large shrew meal?


“Shrews aren't very good swimmers and sometimes drown if they end up in water,” Lisac said. "My best guess is that the shrews were on an island [or river bank] that flooded, and the rainbow happened to be in the right spot at the right time,"


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