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AMAZON GIANT

  • The arapaima has a tongue equipped with teeth that it uses to shred its prey into pieces.

  • Arapaima are surface breathers. They have to come up to the surface for air every ten to twenty minutes.

  • Arapaima have been around since the Jurassic period.  

  • Arapaima eat small fish and sometimes other small animals on the surface of the water.

  • Arapaima can swim backwards.

  • Arapaima are massive. They can grow up to 440 lbs in the wild.

  • Locals believe arapaima to be the embodied spirit of the evil son of a tribal chief. Pirarucu, the evil son, was observed by one of the gods who punished him by piercing his heart with a lightning bolt. While still alive, Pirarucu sank to the bottom of the river where he transformed into the giant fish.

  • The arapaima uses its fins to hollow out a nest in clear, shallow, sandy-bottomed areas.

  • Male arapaima guard their eggs in their mouth and lead their young until they are capable of swimming on their own. This is known as mouth-brooding.

  • Fishing for arapaima can also be done in Thailand and Malaysia, where they have been introduced as species. 

  • Natives use the boney tongue of the arapaima as a scraping tool. They also believe it helps cure intestinal parasites.

  • Locals call the arapaima paiche.

  • Arapaima change color when they reproduce.

  • Arapaima populations are threatened by over fishing. Today, fishing this species is illegal in some areas of South America.

  • The scales of an arapaima can grow up to 6 cm (2.4”). Doesn’t seem like a lot? That’s about the size of a chicken egg.

COLOSSAL CATFISH

  • Monkeys, dogs, cats, birds, and other catfish have been found in the bellies of Piraiba.

  • Piraiba’s bodies are covered in taste buds. That helps detect chemical cues coming off of prey.                                                           

  • Locals don’t consider the fish as a true Piraiba until they surpass 200 pounds. In fact they are called filhote until they reach that weight.

  • Piraiba use long whiskers to navigate the muddy waters of the Amazon. They also give them the ability to hunt in total darkness.

  • Piraiba are the largest catfish in the Amazon.

  • Despite popular belief Piraiba are not indiscriminate feeders they are actually quite selective and will taste or feel their food before consuming it.

  • Legends tell that the Piraiba has been known to make prey of man.

  • Piraiba are considered the hardest fighting fish in the Amazon.

  • If you get a Piraiba out of the water quickly you can sometimes find parasitic candiru in their gill cavities.

  • Piraiba can grow up to twelve feet long and weight up to 600 pounds.

  • Piraiba continue to grow their entire lives.

  • Piraiba have a specialized gland and pore at the base of their pectoral spine which they exude a white milky substance from when handled.

  • Piraiba have been given the nickname “Lechero” or “milkman” due to the secretion of a white milky substance.

  • Piraiba are a prized eating fish but are threatened due to fishing methods including long lines and nets.

  • Piraiba hunt for food 100 to 130 feet below the surface.

NILE PERCH

  • Female Nile perch have the ability to produce a minimum of 16 million eggs in one year.

  • The introduction of Nile perch in other bodies of water has caused over 200 species of fish to be extinct.

  • Nile perch are able to live up to 16 years.

  • Nile perch are native to Ethiopia.

  • Nile perch are born male. When they become sexually mature at 3 years do some of them become female.

  • Nile perch can only be dried over fire, making deforestation one of the contributing threats of Nile perch.

  • Nile perch attack prey by obscuring itself behind structures.

  • Nile perch were introduced in Texas and is now labeled as an invasive species in the state.

  • Because of the size of their mouth, Nile perch can feed on prey as big as themselves. They’ve been known to eat their own kind.

  • Nile perch is on the 100 of the World’s Worst Invasive Alien Species list.

  • Due to economic wealth and it’s ability to spawn, many have claimed it is impossible to eradicate Nile perch for Lake Victoria.

  • In 2009, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, the three leading countries that export Nile perch to the EU, reported a decrease in production because of low stock in Lake Victoria.

  • Nile perch has a number of other names including African Snook, and Victoria perch.

  • Nile perch is a major international export from Africa.

  • Juvenile Nile perch are concentrated in shallow water. For larger Nile perch, one can find then in deeper water.

    WHITE STURGEON

    • White sturgeon has a lifespan of 100 years or more.

    • 25% of the white sturgeons body is made up of just its head.                                                                  

    • The body of white sturgeon is comprised of cartilage rather than bone.                                         

    • Each white sturgeon has five rows of bony plates with a sharp spine that surround its body.

    • White sturgeon can reach a weight of 1,800 pounds or more.

    • Because they do not have teeth, Sturgeon uses their mouths or snouts to suck up food.                           

    • In cloudy or murky water, sturgeon uses their whiskers or barbels to hunt for food.

    • Younger sturgeon tend to reside in slower currents whereas adult sturgeon prefer faster waters.

    • White sturgeon resembles a shark in its tail and it’s skeletal structure.                                           

    • In British Columbia only white sturgeon and green sturgeon can be found.                          

    • It takes anywhere between eight to 20 years for a white sturgeon to mature. 

    • Though they reside in salt water, sturgeon spawn only in fresh water.                                            

    • Female white sturgeon can lay up to several millions of eggs when they spawn.                                     

    • Sturgeon is prized for numerous reasons, but most for their eggs because they are caviar.

    • White sturgeon has been known to be confused with sharks because of their body appearance in water.

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