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Arapaima

Arapaima
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • Arapaimas have a bony tongue on which sharp teeth grow. Together with the teeth on their upper jaw, they can kill and shred their prey.

  • The habitat of arapaimas witnesses high fluctuations in water level throughout the year. These fish adapt their reproduction schedule to the changes. During the dry season from December to March, they find a mate, build a nest and then spawn. The flood season begins when the eggs hatch, so sufficient water is available.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Data Deficient
IUCN Red List: Data Deficient
CITES: Appendix II
CITES: Appendix II

As they can provide a high yield of meat, arapaimas are a popular target of local fishermen. Living in waters that are oxygen deficient, arapaimas surface every 5 to 15 minutes to take in oxygen from the air. They are easy to capture due to their constant emergence above water. Overfishing has not only reduced their average body size, but also depleted some populations. Although their capture is banned in some regions, illegal fishing still takes place.

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