Fish are in the middle of the food chain. Many types of predators, using various types
of techniques, prey upon them.
The Bulldog Bat of Central and South
America hunts both freshwater and saltwater fish at night by using
echolocation to detect ripples on the surface of calm waters. When a ripple is detected, the bat swoops
down and skims the surface, trailing its feet about an inch below the surface
sweeping for the fish. Its feet have
long, sharp claws for grasping the fish and flattened toes, which cut down on
Found nearly worldwide, the Osprey uses its
sharp eyesight to spot fish. When a fish
is spotted, it hovers above it then plunges from as high as 100
feet with wings swept back and talons thrust forward. Its head enters the water first, and it
frequently completely submerges. The
Osprey grabs the fish with its talons, which have rough pads on their bottom to
help them grasp the slippery prey.
Ospreys also have an opposable front toe that they can rotate backwards
to give them a more balanced hold on the fish.
After capture, the Osprey adjusts the fish in its grip so that the head
is pointed forward to make it more aerodynamic.
A relative of the Osprey, the Bald Eagle,
also uses sharp eyesight to spot fish, which are its main diet. When a Bald Eagle spots a fish, it skims the
surface of the water with its talons to catch it, rather than plunging like the
Osprey. Unlike the Osprey, which can
catch fish several feet below the surface, the Bald Eagle can only catch fish
that are near the surface. Its rear
talon is over an inch long and is used to puncture and kill its prey. Bald Eagles will also steal fish from Ospreys
by diving on them and chasing them until they drop the fish, which the eagle will
then catch before it hits the ground.
Found in large rivers, lakes, and oxbows of
southern North America, the Alligator Snapping Turtle is
the largest freshwater turtle, reaching up to 300 pounds. To catch a fish dinner, the turtle wiggles
the pink worm-like lure located at the end of its tongue to attract a
fish. It sits still on the bottom; its
algae-covered shell camouflaging it, with its mouth wide open. When a fish comes close to take the lure, the
turtle’s jaws snap shut on it like a trap.
The Six-spotted Fisher Spider of North
America uses water tension to sit on the surface of the water while
fishing. It plunges one leg below the
surface to use as a lure to attract small fish.
When a fish comes close enough, it plunges under the surface, and after
catching it, bites it, injecting a poison that dissolves the body. The spider then sucks out the fish’s body
juices—a type of “animal slurpy.”
Christ calls upon us to be fishers (soul
winners) of men; He says, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19. Although the God-given talents and gifts of
each individual are varied and useful in soul-winning, there is one main
technique or method which God wishes us to learn to be effective “fishers of
men.” “If you are in communion with
Christ, you will place His estimate upon every human being. You will feel for others the same deep love
that Christ has felt for you. Then you
will be able to win, not drive, to attract, not repulse, those for whom He
died.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 197.
David Arbour writes from his
home in DeQueen, Arkansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at: