ONE BIG FISH!
We had to head back to the University for a few days last week to honor one of our dear students who we lost. We’re back in the Amazon Rainforest today to meet a large fresh water fish- the arapaima.
Location: Amazon Rainforest
- Arapaima have long torpedo shaped bodies.
- Arapaima scales are hard, heavy and are covered in minerals. These help protect them.
- They are the largest fresh water fish on earth.
- They do have gills, but use a specialized organ to breathe air from the surface too.
- They come to the surface every 5 to 15 minutes to breathe.
- Male arapaima protect the babies in their mouths until they are big enough to protect themselves.
- Arapaima have bony tongues.
- While they are listed as data deficient by the IUCN, they are listed as endangered by CITES and are protected from over fishing.
Arapaima are amazingly cool fish! Did you know there were fish that breathed air too? Isn’t that neat? It’s a great adaptation to have when you live in water that may not be very oxygen rich. We’re off to meet some new friends tomorrow!