“Exploring the Enigmatic Kingdom of Giant Freshwater Fish: River Monsters” (video)

The Mekong River catfish (pangasius oil) once topped the list of the largest freshwater fish, but today this position belongs to the Beluga sturgeon.

Sturgeons (Acipenseridae) are known as “living fossils” because they appeared on Earth more than 250 million years ago. Of the 27 species that still exist on these properties, the beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) is the largest representative.

In 1827, a beluga sturgeon caught at the mouth of the Volga River grew to 7.2 m in length and weighed 1,571 kg, which is equivalent to an adult whitefish. It is the largest specimen ever recorded to date.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the beluga sturgeon can live more than 100 years in the wild. When they reach their maximum size, they become table predators and feed mainly on large fish such as carp and salmon. These shoes when hunting for mollusks, waterfowl, harpoons and other sight fish.

Their long lifespan and active hunting properties are two of the reasons why beluga sturgeon can grow to such a large size, says expert Phaedra Doukakis of the US National Oceanic and Gas Administration. (NOAA) said with Live Science.

However, today most sturgeons cannot exceed 3.5 m in length. This is due to pressure from overfishing, which has made large, old individuals increasingly rare in recent decades. river sturgeon), the adult beluga sturgeon spends a lot of time living in saltwater and freshwater environments. That is why we were not previously recognized as the largest freshwater fish in the world. This title once belonged to the oilfish (Pangasianodon gigas), a “pure freshwater” fish from Southeast Asia. They can grow to more than 3 m in length and weigh between 150 and 350 kg.

Both groups of fish are considered “critically endangered” on the IUCN Red List. In addition to the threat of attack due to overfishing, the construction of river vandals also disturbs their habitat and reproduction.

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