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Fish / Arapaima gigas
Length Up to 15'
Conservation Status
Data Deficient

This is the largest fish found strictly in fresh water. The arapaima is very unique among fish— it can breathe air! They have a very primitive lung. They can take up oxygen through their gills also but they typically live in oxygen-poor waterways and supplement with air breathing. Arapaima are listed as endangered fishes according to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species, or CITES. This means that their trade is strictly regulated.

Northern South America: Amazon and Essequibo river systems
Freshwater; demersal
These fish are fierce predators, sometimes leaping out of the water to grab birds, lizards and even small primates .
All Animals /


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