Many people don’t know it, but fish can be pretty interesting. They aren’t just fun to catch and eat, but also to observe. Sometimes a fish is collected for research and the researchers just can’t help but wonder what did it eat? This question led to the discovery of 20 shrews in the stomach of one Rainbow Trout.
When you think about the diet of a trout you probably think of bugs, other smaller fish and maybe a frog now and then. Scientists claim that many fish species eat mice and other small mammals if they are hungry enough and have the opportunity. Since most trout aren’t much larger than a rodent, it seems almost impossible for a trout to eat one shrew let alone 20.
This isn’t the first time shrews have been found in the stomach of a trout. The last time this happened, a trout broke the record with 7 shrews in its stomach. This new trout more than doubled that amount and is rightfully the new record holder.
Since shrews and trout don’t exactly share the same living arrangements, it led scientists to wonder how a trout would find a shrew to eat, let alone 20. But one fish biologist may have an answer to that question.
“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.” Said Mark Lisac.
Lisac works for the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska and said that although 20 shrews is a lot for a fish to eat, it is not as unbelievable as it may seem. 20 Shrews is a pretty big score to beat but if there are trout out there that share the same appetite as the one that was collected, the record may be broken sooner than we think.
Image from Wikimedia Commons.