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Silver arowana

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The silver arowana, Osteoglossum bicirrhosum, sometimes spelled arawana, is a freshwater bony fish of the family Osteoglossidae, commonly kept in aquaria. The term “Osteoglossum” means “bone-tongued” and “bicirrhosum” means “two barbels” (from the Greek language).

This species is found in the Amazon River basin and in the Rupununi and Oyapock Rivers in South America as well as in still waters in Guyana.

This fish has relatively large scales, a long body, and a tapered tail, with the dorsal and anal fins extending all the way to the small caudal fin, with which they are nearly fused. It can grow to a maximum size of around 36 inches or more in captivity. In the wild, it has been known to reach over 48 inches in length. Unlike the Black Arowana, Silver arowanas have the same coloring throughout their lifespan.

The species is also called monkey fish because it of its ability to jump out of the water and capture its prey. It usually swims near the water surface waiting for potential prey. Although specimens have been found with the remains of birds, bats, and snakes in their stomachs, its main diet consist of crustaceans, insects, smaller fishes and other animals that float on the water surface, for which its draw-bridge-like mouth is exclusively adapted for feeding.

Arowana are sometimes called Dragon Fish by aquarists because their shiny armor-like scales and double barbels are reminiscent of descriptions of dragons in Asian folklore.

The Silver Arowana is currently not listed on any CITES appendix [1] nor on the 2004 IUCN Red List.[2] It is one of the most popular ornamental fish from South America, however, and therefore its conservation status merits attention.[3]