We present you interesting catfish facts.
The catfish (Silurus) is the largest predatory fish that lives in freshwater lakes and rivers. It belongs to the rayon class, the catfish group, the catfish family.
Catfish has a long, flattened, and quite powerful body, which is devoid of scales and covered with a layer of mucus that provides slip and maneuverability of fish in the water. Wide catfish head usually has a flattened shape. On it, there are small, slightly blinded eyes of catfish. The wide mouth of the fish is “armed” with small but present in large numbers of teeth. Almost all catfish have one peculiarity: the jaws of this predatory fish are long mustache. Catfish mustache is the most important tactile organ, with which the fish find food. Depending on the species, which scientists have about 500, the appearance of the catfish, its color and size may vary significantly.
How long does a catfish live?
The life expectancy of a catfish, which lives in natural and ecologically acceptable conditions, reaches 30, 50, or even 60 years. There are data from ichthyologists who have recorded individuals who have reached the age of 75 years.
What do the catfish eat?
Fish catfish in nature prefers to lead a benthic lifestyle, lying in pits with large concentrations of muddy sediments. In the diet it is unpretentious: catfish eat plant remains, small fish, larvae, frogs, shells, crayfish or accidental birds, mice, and other animals. The catfish also eat scavengers. Often he “trades” for prey near the old and forgotten fishing nets. Big hungry catfish can eat even a dog or a calf, which accidentally entered the water.
Where does the catfish live?
Fish catfish is quite common in the waters of Europe and Asia, and, upholstered in rivers flowing into the sea, often swims in their salty waters. Unfortunately, in such conditions, only one species of catfish can exist for a long time – canal catfish, the rest of the family is not adapted to such a “salty” living.
An ordinary catfish (European) (Silurus glanis) can reach a length of up to 5 meters and weigh up to 400 kg. It inhabits the rivers and lakes of Europe and Russia. Cases of common catfish attack on people are described.
American catfish (dwarf catfish) (Ameiurus nebulosus) live in South American waters. The length of the American catfish does not exceed one meter, weight – 7-10 kg. The jaws of this variety are surprisingly arranged: teeth are arranged in several rows, and each row is different in size – from smaller to larger. This feature allows the American catfish to seize its prey like a steel vice.
Malapterurus electricus lives in African waters and rivers of Arab countries. His ability to generate powerful electric charges helps him to hunt successfully even large prey. There are reports that the electric catfish killed animals that accidentally wander into a watering hole.
Among the catfish widely known aquarium species: Antsistrus catfish, cockroach, platypodoros, glass catfish, cuckoo catfish, shifter catfish, and others. And their variety of colors just amazes.
The reproduction of catfishes
In natural bodies of water, catfish spawning begins in summer, when the water is sufficiently warm. Usually catfish spawn in late May – mid-June. For reproduction fish catfish look for secluded areas: quiet ducts, shallow waters in reeds, not too deep, shady ponds. The process of the courtship of males for the female is quite interesting to observe: fish long play “catch-up”, accompanying them with a noisy splash and splashes. Most often the female catfish chooses the strongest and largest partner out of 5-6 candidates. After that, the pair goes to the chosen place where the female digs a hole with her pectoral fins, where in the future she will “hide” the caviar. Surprisingly, sometimes the depth of such holes reaches one meter! Fry begins to curse after 7-9 days, and in a couple of weeks, the youngsters settle in the water expanses of rivers and lakes.
Interesting catfish facts
- Catfish is a very smart and tricky fish. To lure his prey, he moves his mustache, imitating the movement of worms, while opening his mouth. At the sight of prey, the catfish draws in water with its gullible prey.
- The catfish is a very greedy fish. It picks up everything edible that just gets into the water: a duck swimming past, a nest hanging over the water. Sometimes catfish would drag away dogs or calves that were in the water by the shore.
- The weight of this predatory fish can reach 400 kg and a length of 5 meters. Depending on the habitat, the color of the catfish can vary from yellow to black.
- Catfish are a dangerous predator, there are even known cases of attack by this fish on people.
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