I’d cast my vote for the sheer diversity of catfish as the primary reason. The term “catfish” applies to a lot of fish. It’s not actually the individual species which are especially adaptable, so much as there are so many species in the group that they’ve been able to fill a large variety of ecological niches — from predators to detritivores. Look at it this way: the term “catfish” applies to an entire order of fish (Siluriformes) — some 3000+ extant species. That’s a LOT of room for diversity.
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