The Mekong River is the longest river on the Indochina Peninsula, in its waters there are more than a thousand species of fish. It turns out that one of them broke records.
Behind her capture is fisherman Mole Thun, who pulled a stingray weighing about 300 kilograms from the water. The animal has returned to its natural environment, and its discovery provides a bit of optimism, as it shows that even these giant individuals are able to survive in an increasingly damaged and depleted environment.
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One of the scientists heavily involved in the search for big fish is Zeb Hogan, a biologist at the University of Nevada, Reno. His first expedition began in 2005, and since then, the researcher has encountered many river monsters. The newest, however, is larger than the previous. The story began with a call from Moul Thun, the aforementioned fisherman, who informed Hogan that he had caught a stingray so large that it might belong to a different species. So the world decided to see it for himself.
Research shows that the number of megafauna in freshwater has been twice as low as the number of vertebrates found on land and oceans. Therefore, many impressively large freshwater species are critically endangered. As Hogan admits, his project is not only about breaking records, but also finding ways to protect these amazing animals. Some of them inhabited the Earth for millions of years, and even now they are completely extinct.
The largest freshwater fish was caught on June 13 and weighed about 300 kg
At the same time, the scientist suspected that among the stingrays there might be a contender for the title of the largest known freshwater fish. It seems that a representative of this type is a strong candidate in this case Urogymnus polylepis from Southeast Asia. Working with local fishermen, Hogan created a kind of network in which these fishermen had to report their record crops. Interestingly, this practice is legal in Cambodia, although the inhabitants rarely catch the sun, as it is not considered particularly tasty and nutritious. In this case, hunting was completely random.
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A large-sized female was pulled out of the water on the night of June 13. First, team members arrived from Phnom Penh, followed by another group of American scientists working in the area. On the other hand, stingrays received a small mark, which may help collect information about the behavior of representatives of their own species. Given some positive changes in fish populations in North America and the Amazon, Hogan hopes that the impact of environmentalists in Asia will be similar.
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