Big Fish in a Big River

giant catfish

The Amazon River is not only the greatest in the world, it is home to many other "extremes"  of the natural world. Have you ever seen a catfish? They're usually found in warm, slow moving waters of lakes and streams, and some people keep them as pets in aquariums. Catfish are pretty creepy looking fish with big flat heads and "whiskers" on either side of their heads (hence the name, catfish). Most catfish that we're familiar with here in the U.S. are anywhere from eight inches long to about five feet, weighing in at up to 60 pounds. But the catfish that live in the world's greatest river have all the room in the world to grow as big as nature will allow - they have been captured weighing over 200 pounds! One of the largest freshwater fish  in the world is found living in the waters of the Amazon River. Arapaima, also known locally as Pirarucu, Arapaima gigas are the largest, exclusively fresh water fish in the world. They have been found to reach a length of 15 ft/4m and can weigh up to 440lbs/200kg.