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Arawana: The Water Monkey printer.gif

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Arawana fish are some of most interesting fish found in the Amazon. These fish have the ability to jump out of the water to catch their prey. Adult arawana can propel themselves more than 3 feet out of the water to snatch small birds, bats, and frogs. The arawana also likes to eat insects and spiders that fall into the water.

The arawana is a massive fish: nearly three to four feet in length. It is also able to see both underwater and above the water. It swims near the water's surface, and it has an eye that is able to see above and below. This attribute makes it a great hunter. Scientists also believe that the arawana is able to sense vibrations in the water to locate its prey.

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The arawana belongs to a family of fish commonly known as "bony tongues." Arawanas have a toothy bone on the floor of the mouth. This bony tongue bites against teeth on the roof of the mouth.

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The fish's head is bony and its body is covered in large, heavy scales. Fossil records have shown that the arawana fish and its ancestors have changed very little since the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous periods. Fish related to the arawana have or continue to live on every continent but Antactica.

Like the arapaima fish, the arawana fish needs to "breathe" oxygen. They have similar air bladders to the arawana, which allow them to stay near the water's surface.

Arawanas are often kept as pets in aquariums throughout the world. However, because they are very large fish, they need very special attention and extremely large tanks!

For further exploration, check out these web sites.

Wilderness Classroom's Rainforest Library

Fishlore's Facts on Arawana

Wikipedia's Arawana Entry

How should we change our habits to help the planet?

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