Saturday, April 4, 2020
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Giant air-breathing fish found in the Amazon

Posted on Saturday, 3 December, 2016 | Comment icon 4 comments

The arapaima is a true monster of the deep. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Jeff Kubina
A new species of the mysterious arapaima has been discovered in the remote backwaters of the Amazon.
Measuring up to 10ft long and weighing up to 440 pounds, the arapaima has long remained something of an enigma. Found within the oxygen-depleted backwaters of South America, this monster of the rainforest breathes air through a primitive lung and has managed to evade study thanks to its remote location and the fact that it is quite a difficult fish to catch.

Up until now the arapaimas found in the Amazon have been thought to belong to the same species, albeit with regional variations. According to National Geographic explorer Donald J. Stewart and colleagues however, there could actually be several species - many of them undiscovered.

Their findings were based on a specimen collected in 2001 which has turned out to be a distinctly different species to most of the arapaimas caught in the region.

"I think we'll have many more species before we're done," said Stewart.
While the discovery is good news for biologists, it also means that some of these elusive fish may be a lot more endangered than previously believed.

These days it is illegal to catch arapaimas and there are thought to be only around 5,000 left.

If this population consists of several different species, then it means that many of those are going to be a lot more endangered and some could even be on the brink of extinction.

"We need to pay attention to this diversity so we don't eliminate one of them," said Stewart.

Source: National Geographic | Comments (4)

Tags: Arapaima, Amazon

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by aka CAT on 3 December, 2016, 18:47
That they've somewhat rebounded is good news.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ChrLzs on 3 December, 2016, 20:42
Good news..?  You should watch the episodes of 'River Monsters' that include the Arapaima...  Eeeek! (BTW, I am being facetious - I do not support culling or hunting dangerous species, as should be clear from my stance on sharks.  It's their ocean/river....)
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 5 December, 2016, 17:25
We could be looking at the next creatures to dominate the Earth, in a million years or so.
Comment icon #4 Posted by aquatus1 on 5 December, 2016, 23:29
The octopi would never allow it.

Please Login or Register to post a comment.

  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:


Solving Japan's ancient 'red sign' sky mystery
Scientists have been attempting to solve the 1,400-year-old mystery of Japan's 'pheasant tail' sky phenomenon.
Sediment cores shine light on Antarctic forests
It might be a freezing wasteland today, but in the past Antarctica was covered in lush swamps and forests.
Lockdown is causing Earth's crust to fall silent
Scientists have revealed that the coronavirus lockdown has reduced the level of vibrations in the Earth's crust.
Tom DeLonge films UFO off California coast
The co-founder of the 'To The Stars' group reported that he had witnessed something unusual on Tuesday night.
Stories & Experiences
In over my head
3-3-2020 | CA
Stranger at night
3-3-2020 | Merritt Island, FL, U.S.
The babysitter
2-8-2020 | ON
Mystery brain surgery and JFK
2-7-2020 | Toronto Ontario Canada
I keep bringing spirits home
2-7-2020 | Michigan
Dog and Jamaican statue
1-10-2020 | Canada
Life changing experience
12-19-2019 | Australia
Unexplained smoke or fog
12-19-2019 | West Texas, USA

         More stories | Send us your story
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
10 strange things about our solar system
Posted 3-17-2020 | 0 comments
A look at some of the most mysterious things about our solar system.
Lizzie - Scotland's other loch monster
Posted 3-8-2020 | 0 comments
Amelia Dimoldenberg investigates the Loch Ness Monster's neighbor.
Adam Savage and Spot
Posted 2-14-2020 | 4 comments
Adam Savage tests out Boston Dynamics' impressive Spot robot.
 View: More videos
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 (c) 2001-2020
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ