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Silver arowana

Osteoglossum bicirrhosum

Photo: Silver arowana
Weights and measures
Length 120 cm
Weight 6 kg
Animal description
The Silver Arowana, scientifically known as Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, is a captivating species of freshwater fish that is highly sought after by aquarium enthusiasts around the world. Originating from the waterways of South America, particularly the Amazon River basin, the Guiana Shield, and the Orinoco Basin, this species is renowned for its prehistoric appearance, impressive size, and unique hunting techniques.

One of the most striking features of the Silver Arowana is its elongated, almost serpentine body, which is covered in large, shimmering scales that give the fish a majestic silver hue. These scales are so reflective that they can create a dazzling display of light under the right conditions, making the Silver Arowana a true centerpiece in any aquatic habitat. The fish is also characterized by its large, powerful jaw and an upward-facing mouth, adaptations that enable it to capture prey both in the water and on the surface.

Silver Arowanas are notable for their considerable size, with adults commonly reaching lengths of up to 3 feet (90 cm) in captivity, though in the wild, they have been known to grow even larger. This significant size, combined with their active swimming habits, necessitates a spacious aquarium or pond for those looking to keep Silver Arowanas in captivity.

These fish are carnivorous predators, feeding on a diet that includes fish, crustaceans, insects, and occasionally small birds and mammals that venture too close to the water's surface. In the wild, Silver Arowanas are known for their incredible jumping ability, leaping several feet out of the water to snatch prey, a behavior that is both a testament to their hunting skill and a spectacle in itself.

Silver Arowanas exhibit fascinating reproductive behavior, where they are known to be mouthbrooders. The male fish carries the fertilized eggs in his mouth for about two months until they hatch, providing a safe environment for the developing offspring. This level of parental care is relatively rare among fish and adds another layer of intrigue to their natural history.

Despite their allure, Silver Arowanas face challenges in the wild, including habitat destruction and overfishing for the aquarium trade. Conservation efforts are essential to ensure the survival of this species in its natural habitat, along with responsible breeding practices among aquarists.

In summary, the Silver Arowana is a magnificent and ancient fish species that enchants with its beauty, size, and unique behaviors. Whether observed in the wild or in a carefully maintained aquarium, the Silver Arowana continues to captivate and inspire, serving as a living link to the natural world's past and a reminder of the need to protect its future.
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