How do fish eat?
Sure, there’s the spotting of prey and the strike. But really, what’s going on with fish food?
That’s the latest question the YouTube channel Smarter Every Day tackled, showing the mechanics of fish feeding in slow motion.
Baiting barramundi fish, the show’s host Destin filmed how the fish suck in an amount of water with such force that it drives the prey into their mouth.
They create the flow opening their mouth, forcing water into their buccal cavity. They then open a flap in front of the gills to get rid of the water they sucked in. This all happens within a second.
“So they’re basically creating a vacuum behind it,” a staff member at James Cook University in Australia told Destin.
“Shut up! I’ve been fishing my whole life and I didn’t know that,” Destin said when he learned the mechanics.
Watch the fish feeding in slow motion, paying special attention to when the flap opens:
“The fish is coming up to the food, and instead of accelerating the whole body to grab the food, fish have a very complex mouth that can throw the jaws forward,” another staff member said.
This method closes the gap with the prey faster.