Do you know what the biggest freshwater fish on earth is? If you guessed the arapaima, you're right! The arapaima can grow to 3m and easily weighs 440lbs.
The arapaima is a sleek yet massive, streamlined freshwater fish that dominates the waters of the Amazon River basin. Its enlarged swim bladder enables it to breathe in regions with low oxygen concentration and survive in decaying vegetation.
Fun Facts about the Arapaima:
- The arapaima has a large mouth that operates like a vacuum. When feeding, the fish opens up its mouth and sucks up nearby food.
- The arapaima has to stay underwater for 10-20 minutes at a time. On top of this, this freshwater fish can survive up to 4 hours above water.
- The fish lays its eggs during the dry months of March and February and hides them in the sand using its fins.
- The arapaima thrives in oxygen-deprived waters because its enlarged and modified swim bladder allows it to extract oxygen from the air.
- The tough internal collagen layers and the corrugated outer layer of the arapaima operate synergistically to contribute to the arapaima's overall strength and stability.
- The arapaima has its anal and dorsal fins located near its tail. This characteristic largely contributes to its sleek and streamlined shape.