Scientist splits Amazonian giants into separate species

by Jeremy Hance

It’s hard to mistake an arapaima for anything else: these massive, heavily-armored, air-breathing fish (they have to surface every few minutes) are the megafauna of the Amazon’s rivers. But despite their unmistakability, and the fact that they have been hunted by indigenous people for millennia, scientists still know relatively little about arapaima, including just how many species there are.

Since the mid-Nineteenth Century, scientists have lumped all arapaima into one species: Arapaima gigas. However, two recent studies in Copeia split the arapaimas into at least five total species—and more may be coming…

(read more: MongaBay)

photos: George Chernilevsky and Tiffany Roufs

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    What?! Five entirely separate species of my favorite shredder-mouthed air-breathing scaly giant adorable sons of...
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