SYDNEY, Aug 18. (Xinhua) -- For the first time Australian researchers have found large catfish eating mice in a desert river in Western Australia's Pilbara region, local media reported on Thursday.
The discovery was made after several Murdoch University researchers caught 18 lesser salmon fish in the Ashburton River in Western Australia and found two fish with remains of three rodents in their stomach.
Murdoch University Center for Fish and Fisheries Research lead researcher Erin Kelly said according to what was available, catfish were altering their diets, which depended on extreme cycles and flooding that dryland rivers experienced.
"This mouse species has been reported to construct deep burrow systems in the sand of riverbanks," Kelly said.
"If a burrow of mice is flooded and collapses into the river, the catfish are likely to be taking advantage."
Kelly added that this was the first report to have found a terrestrial mammal being consumed by any Australian catfish.
It was previously thought that lesser salmon catfish ate insects, crustaceans, and plants, but the research had revealed that the fish is now slowly gaining traction towards mice meat as well.