Top scavengers

Lake Malawi plummets into permanent darkness beyond the reach of human divers. A remote-controlled sub, armed with camera, lights and fish bait, provides the first glimpse of what lies below. Over 100 metres down, the fish bait attracts deep-water cichlids, but their teeth can’t get through its armoured skin. A lake crab is attracted to the smell of food. A short-bodied Synodontis catfish uses its whiskers to investigate the bait. Then a deep water Bathyclarias catfish, filmed here for the first time, turns up for what is a rare treat at this depth. The catfish is frantic to feed and as the smell of dead fish spreads along the lake bed, more crabs are drawn to the scene. The crabs close ranks, forming a barricade of legs and claws and claiming the fish exclusively for themselves.

Release date:


2 minutes


Role Contributor
NarratorHugh Quarshie
ProducerPhil Chapman
Executive ProducerMike Gunton

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