Giant Arapaima Arapaima gigas/arapaima

Giant Arapaima
Giant Arapaima
The Giant Arapaima, also called Pirarucu, is one of the world's largest freshwater fish, reaching over 3 metres, and a most unusual fish in its need to breathe air.
Giant Arapaima
Giant Arapaima
Native to deep water of the Amazon Basin, including tributaries and lakes, it used to be thought the only species in its genus, but lesser species have since been classified.
Giant Arapaima head
Giant Arapaima face
Giant Arapaima tail
It's head looks pre-historic - almost like an engraved fossil in parts - and has an aerodynamic shape. It has a labyrinth organ in its mouth rich in blood vessels for breathing surface air in oxygen-depleted deep waters. The tail end is flecked with bright red.
Giant Arapaima
Giant Arapaima
It can weigh some 200 Kg. It eats fish, crustaceans and even small birds and fruits.
Giant Arapaima
Giant Arapaima
The head and scales have "mineralised" armour to protect from piranha. It can breathe underwater through gills but needs to supplement that with surfacing to breathe air regularly.