Arowana

Scientific Name: Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Description

The arowana is a long slender fish with large scales. It is found in the black-water rivers of the Amazon and can grow to over 3 feet long. Its unusual mouth placement gives us a clue as to how this fish feeds.

One of the interesting ways that the arowana gets its food is to jump up and capture insects and small birds off tree branches that hang over the river. This fish, reportedly, has also been spotted eating small primates and bats off tree branches. With its large mouth, the arowana has no trouble eating other fish as well. An arowana, whose body is also built for quick bursts of speed, will eat just about any fish it can catch.

Range

The arowana can be found in the Guianas and most of the Amazon basin.

Status in the Wild

Due to deforestation, many animals of the Amazon are in trouble. People cut down trees for timber and then use the land as grazing space for cattle. This action affects the food chain from the insects that many fish feed on up to the fish themselves. Deforestation also results in increased sediments in the water, which ultimately affects the water quality and fish populations.

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