The diet of the arapaima consists of fish or even other kinds of small animals, including birds. The fish also has the ability to breathe air from the surface due to a lung-like lining of its throat, an advantage in oxygen-deprived water that is often found in the Amazon River. This fish is therefore able to survive extensive drought periods by gulping air and burrowing in the mud or sand of the swamps.

The arapaima, pirarucu, or paiche (Arapaima gigas) is a South American tropical freshwater fish. It is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world, reportedly with a maximum length in excess of 3 m (9.8 ft.) and weight up to 200 kg (440 lb.). As one of the most sought after food fish species in South America, it is often captured primarily by handheld nets for export, by spearfishing for local consumption, and, consequently, large arapaima of more than 2 m are seldom found in the wild today.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Arapaima".