Guinness World Records 2015 - page 14

Living planet
Largest carp species
The Siamese giant carp (
Catlocarpio siamensis
),
aka giant barb, is the largest of the cyprinid
(carp) family. The longest specimens currently
reported – such as the 102-kg (225-lb) barb above
– are around 1.8 m (5 ft 10 in) in length, while the
longest known specimen was 3 m (9 ft 10 in).
056
Largest fish ever
In 2008, two palaeontology
students discovered a
specimen of the marine
fossil species
Leedsichthys
problematicus
in clay pits
near Peterborough in
Cambridgeshire, UK. Dating
back 155 million years,
this particular specimen
measured 22 m (72 ft)
Fishes
Great white shark:
length 4.5 m, weight
c
. 900 kg
FACT
An oarfish seen
swimming by a team
of scientists off
New Jersey, USA, in
1963 was estimated
to be 15.2 m long!
Longest bony fish
The lengthiest of the bony or “true” fishes (class Pisces, aka Osteichthyes
– see Glossary, below) is the oarfish (
Regalecus glesne
), or the “King of
the Herrings”, which has worldwide distribution. In
c.
1885, a 7.6-m-long
(25-ft) example weighing 272 kg (600 lb) was caught by fishermen off
Pemaquid Point in Maine, USA. The specimen pictured here was found
dead in the water off Toyon Bay, California, USA, on 13 Oct 2013 by staff
of the Catalina Island Marine Institute; it measured 5.5 m (18 ft) long.
Slowest fish
The slowest-moving
marine fish are the
sea horses (family
Syngnathidae), of
which there are just
over 30 species. Some
of the smaller species
such as the dwarf sea
horse (
Hippocampus
zosterae
, above),
which reaches a
maximum length of
only 4.2 cm (1.6 in),
probably never attain
speeds of more
than 0.016 km/h
(0.001 mph).
Actual
Size
long, almost twice the
length of the whale shark,
the
largest fish
alive
today (see p.42).
Largest freshwater fish
The largest fish that
spends its whole life in
fresh or brackish water
is the Mekong giant
catfish (
Pangasianodon
gigas
), principally of the
Mekong River basin,
and
Pangasius sanitwongsei
,
mainly of the Chao Phraya
River basin, both native
to south-east Asia. Both
species are reputed to
grow to 3 m (9 ft 10 in) and
weigh 300 kg (660 lb). The
Arapaima gigas
of South
America is reported to reach
4.5 m (14 ft 9 in) long, but it
weighs only 200 kg (440 lb).
Smallest fish
The smallest adult fish –
and indeed the
smallest
vertebrate
– is a sexually
mature male
Photocorynus
spiniceps
, which measures
just 6.2 mm (0.24 in)
long and is found in the
Philippine Sea. This species
of anglerfish reproduces
through sexual parasitism.
The male permanently
attaches itself to the
larger female by biting her
back, belly or sides and
effectively turning her into
a hermaphrodite.
The
smallest
freshwater fish
is the
dwarf pygmy goby (
Pandaka
pygmaea
), a colourless
and nearly transparent
species found in the streams
and lakes of Luzon in the
WHAT A WHOPPER! COMPARING FISH SCALES
Ocean sunfish:
length 3 m,
weight 2 tonnes
The whale shark is
not a shark
; a starfish is
not a fish
; an electric eel is
not an eel
Whale shark:
length 12.65 m, weight
c
. 15 tonnes
Thresher shark:
head-
to-tip-of-fin length 5 m,
weight 230 kg
Photocorynus
spiniceps
:
length 6.2 mm
Oarfish:
length 7.6 m,
weight
c
. 270 kg
Actual
Size
Longing for the
sea? Turn to p.38
Glossary
Chondrichthyes:
cartilaginous fish; have
skeletons made of cartilage
– a flexible but firm tissue
less stiff than bone.
Osteichthyes:
bony fish;
have skeletons made from
bone. There are
c
. 28,000
species of Osteichthyes,
accounting for 96% of
all fish species. They also
form the
largest class
of vertebrates
(animals
with backbones).
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