World's largest freshwater fish caught in Cambodia

The giant was measured, weighed and released into the wild.

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For 17 years, biologist Zeb Hogan has been looking for the world's largest freshwater fish. And on June 13, his team found a giant stingray or Urogymnus polylepis on the Mekong River in Cambodia. Writes about it NYTimes.

Representatives of this species are always impressive in size, but this individual turned out to be really huge - almost 4 meters in length and 300 kg in weight. Dr. Hogan stated that this freshwater fish is the largest ever caught.

The previous record holder was a 293 kg catfish caught in Thailand in 2005.

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Although this type of giant stingray has extremely dangerous venomous spines that can be up to 30 cm long, they usually do not pose a threat to humans. Most often, stingrays enter the market as a source of cheap protein. However, this incredible individual was released into the wild, equipped with an acoustic tracking tag.

 

Dr. Hogan noted that many giant stingrays have been caught in recent months, and they are all females. The Mekong study area is also home to freshwater dolphins, giant soft-bodied turtles, giant catfish and giant barbeled cyprinids.

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The rivers of Cambodia are unique and poorly understood, in contrast to the water systems of North America and Europe, which receive much more scientific attention. And the existence of such a large stingray may be an indicator of the excellent health of the ecosystem, the scientist added.