Characteristics of Arapaima, the Living Fossil

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Have you ever heard about Arapaima? This gigantic fish is the inhabitant of the Amazon river. Because of its gigantic body, this fish is called as the living fossil. If you are curious about this fish, here are some characteristics of Arapaima.

The Monster of Freshwater

Arapaima is called as the monster of freshwater because of its giant body. This fish has an average more than 2 meters length and weighs more than 100 Kg. There was even the one found with 4.5 meters length and more than 200 kg weight in the mid of the 18th century. But today, no arapaima of more than 2.5 meters found in wildlife.

Characteristics of Arapaima
Characteristics of Arapaima

The Living Fossil

Arapaima is considered as a living fossil because of its morphological characters at and anatomy which are similar to ancient creatures. This big fish even has been living in the Amazon river since the Jurassic period.

Greedy and Super Strong Fish

With an efficient and slim body shape, fins on the back and anal area, and a tail make arapaima a great and strong swimmer. It can even jump out of the water to prey other animals such as birds, frogs, grasshoppers, and many more. Arapaima is a greedy predator that preys on other fish. This fish can cause local fish extinction and ecosystem damages. It is also said that with its gigantic body, arapaima can turn a boat upside down.

Characteristics of Arapaima
Characteristics of Arapaima

Can Survive without Water All Day Long

This fish has a swim bladder that can also function as lungs to help it breathe. Arapaima will swim to the water surface to take a breath once every 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Moreover, this river predator can even survive without water all day long. Its ability to inhale allows arapaima to survive even in the water with less oxygen.

Piranha’s Tough Opponent

Living in a river full of piranha, arapaima has an extraordinary defense in the form of blackish green scales whose outer layers are mineralized, hard and bumpy. The strength of arapaima’s scales allows this fish to be protected from the sharpness of the piranha’s teeth. It can also help this fish to survive in rivers where other fish cannot survive.

Characteristics of Arapaima
Characteristics of Arapaima

Arapaima is one of the fish kinds that can be consumed. Its scales can even be used to make jewelry. However, this fish is a protected animal, especially in its original habitat. Those are the characteristics of arapaima.

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