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Snakehead (fish)

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The snakeheads are part of the freshwater perciform fish family Channidae, found in parts of Africa and Asia. These predatory fish are recognised by their long dorsal fins, large mouths, and shiny teeth.


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They can breathe air with gills, which allows them to migrate short distances over land and suprabranchial organs, distinguished forms of labyrinth organs that develop as they grow older.[1]

Various snakehead species differ largely in size. Dwarf snakeheads (e.g., Channa orientalis) stay under 25 cm (10 in). Most other snakeheads range from 30 to 90 cm (12 to 35 in). Some species (C. argus, C. barca, C. marulius, C. micropeltes, and C. striata) can reach 1 m (3 ft 3 in) or more.[2]

When young, snakeheads eat plankton, aquatic insects, and molluscs. As adults, they mostly eat other fish (like carp) or frogs.[3] In rare cases, they may even eat small rodents like rats.

Snakeheads have a large fossil record, originating back at least 50 million years. They likely originated in the south Himalayan region of the Indian subcontinent. Over time, they spread into Eurasia, Africa, and East Asia.[4]

Ecological concerns

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Snakeheads can become invasive species when brought to areas where they are not native. Their lack of natural enemies makes them apex predators, causing environmental damage. People sometimes release pet snakeheads into ponds, lakes, and rivers, increasing the invasive problem.[5]


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  1. "What are snakeheads? | U.S. Geological Survey". www.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  2. "MSN". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  3. "MSN". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  4. "MSN". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2024-06-14.
  5. "MSN". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2024-06-14.