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.
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.
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.
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 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.