Sunday, February 15, 2009


Aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan is directing National Geographic's Megafishes Project, a 3-year global survey of giant freshwater fish. And they do mean giant! Hogan hopes to document more than 20 species of fish that are at least 2 meters in length or 200 lbs. in weight. These largest inhabitants of the freshwater ecosystems on 6 continents are often threatened by pollution and overfishing. They are also the oldest, as Hogan explains: "Fish have what's called 'indeterminate growth', meaning fish will keep growing larger as long they continue to live and are unchecked by disease. That means the larger fishes also tend to be the oldest ones." Hogan is pictured at the top with a 13' specimen of giant freshwater stingray he and his team discovered in Cambodia. The photo at the bottom shows the most recent world record holder for the biggest freshwater fish: a 9' (646 lb.) Giant Mekong catfish caught in China in May 2005.

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