The species is among the largest known freshwater fish, commonly measuring 200 cm and exceptionally reaching lengths of up to 450 cm. Adults may weigh up to 200 kg. A. gigas has a streamlined body with dorsal and anal fins set well back towards the tail. While the body is mainly gray to gray-green, its Brazilian local name "pirarucu" derives from an indigenous word for "red fish", thought to refer to either the red flecks on the scales towards the tail, or the reddish-orange colour of the filleted meat
Arapaima gigas, also known as pirarucu, is a species of arapaima native to the basin of the Amazon River. Once believed to be the sole species in the genus, it is among the largest freshwater fish
These huge fish can grow up to 4.5 metres long, making them one of the largest freshwater fish in the world.
Arapaimas are very unusual fish because they have a special swim bladder that enables them to gulp air from the surface. They live in very dirty water that doesn’t have much oxygen in it, so they come up to breathe air every 5-15 minutes.
They are carnivores, using their large mouths to catch fish and even birds from the surface of the water. They have a bony tongue that helps them crush and chew their food.
They are mouth brooders, which means that they protect their babies in their mouths until they are large enough to look after themselves.
Arapaimas are found in the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers of South America. They have also been introduced to some rivers in Asia
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