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The Arapaima

7 Mega Cool Facts About This Freshwater Giant

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller

The Aquarium is full of interesting fish, but one in particular makes a giant impression! That is, of course, the Arapaima. Here are 10 amazing facts about this mega fish.

  1.  Arapaimas can reach lengths of up to nine feet long and can weigh up to 440 pounds!


  1. The Arapaima can breathe air! It has a rudimentary lung and can survive as long as 24 hours outside of the water. This allows the Arapaima to survive in oxygen-poor waters and during dry seasons.


  1. They eat by creating a vacuum that sucks their prey into their mouth.


  1. In Brazil the Arapaima is called Pirarucu. This name is derived from the indigenous words “pira,” meaning fish, and “urucum,” meaning red.


  1. Male Arapaima’s incubate tens of thousands of eggs in their mouths! They guard them aggressively and move them when necessary.


  1. Arapaimas stay underwater for only 10 to 20 minutes. When it surfaces for air, it makes a loud coughing noise.


  1. The Arapaima is one of the largest species of freshwater fish.


Visit our Arapaima and other Amazon river giants in our Journey to South America habitat.

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