Massive Dragon Fish Found Dead at Lake 10,000 Miles Away From Native Habitat: VIDEO

by Craig Garrett
Atlantic Wolffish - stock photo

The locals were shocked to find a massive dragon fish from the Amazon rainforest dead on the bank of a lake in Cambodia. On November 3rd, the giant Arapaima from South America was found dead in the Krakan village of Siem Reap province, Newsflare reports.

It is speculated that the fish may have come from a private aquarium. Its owner may have gotten rid of it by dumping it into the pond when the fish outgrew its tank. This isn’t the first time that a Dragon fish has been spotted in Angkor – On 14 May 2020, a 65-pound specimen was found dead nearby. This recent Arapaima find weighed around 150 pounds. The bizarre specimen was shared on Twitter

Sam Muysong, who works at a nearby temple spoke to local media. “I know that some people like to keep these fish as pets but they are very expensive. I walk past the pond every day and had not seen this before, so I think it has only been put here recently.” After the fish floated onto shore, experts are now trying to find out why it died.

The climate in Cambodia is tropical, which would not be conducive to the survival of Amazonian fish species. The Arapaima fish, which is found in the Amazon, can grow up to 15 feet and is considered one of the largest freshwater fish species. Overfishing and the loss of their natural habitat have led to a decline in the numbers of these animals, which are also hunted for their meat.

Dragon fish are easy targets due to their great size and need to surface

Arapaima scales have a hard, outer layer with a corrugated surface. Underneath this surface are several layers of collagen fibers arranged in a Bouligand-type structure. Similar to plywood, the fibers in each successive layer are oriented at large angles to those in the previous layer. Of course, this increases toughness.

The tough, corrugated outer layer and the strong internal collagen layers work together to help the dragon fish flex and deform while remaining strong and protected. This allows the fish to remain mobile even when heavily armored. The arapaima depends on surface air to breathe. In addition to gills, it has a modified and enlarged swim bladder that helps it extract oxygen from the air.

Overfishing has posed a great threat to the Arapaima population. This is due in part to the fish’s large size and their need to surface for air at regular intervals. The peak of commercial fishing occurred between 1918-1924, yielding up to 7000 tons annually. As demand increased, natives began farming the fish.

Since prohibiting catches did not prove to be very effective, Brazilian officials banned arapaima fishing altogether in 1996. This was because the population was rapidly decreasing. In fact, research from 2014 showed that the fish was either depleted or overfished at 93% of the sites studied. They were only found to be well-managed or unfished in 7% of them. Furthermore, 19% percent of these locations appeared to have no arapaimas remaining.