Fish Species at FishChannel.com

Enter the Dragon

Take control of the tank-busting arowana for a truly unique aquarium.

By Mark A. Mitchell, D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D.

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They skim the surface of the water in an eternal hunt for unlucky invertebrates or small vertebrates that cross their paths. Angling their bodies, they strike and open their draw-bridge-positioned mouths in a matter of milliseconds. Their recently eaten food morsels are digested alive by a series of proteolytic enzymes in their upper esophaguses.

What are these dragons? Do they represent some mythical creatures from a faraway land?

No, these are arowanas: a group of predatory fish from South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. How do I know these bizarre creatures really exist? I have seen these fish with my own eyes. They may not really be dragons, but they are certainly beasts!

Want to read the full story? Pick up the January 2009 issue of Freshwater And Marine Aquarium, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.

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