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Bowmouth Guitarfish (Rhina ancylostoma)


The Bowmouth Guitarfish or Rhina ancylostoma is a saltwater fish found in the tropical waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.  Upon first glance you would think this fish was a mutant, part Ray and part Shark, but it is in fact a Ray and the sole member of the family Rhinidae.  As you can see in the pictures, it has shark-like dorsal and tail fins with a broad head containing thorny ridges that run down its back.  These thorns are used for self defense when attacked by predators such as the Tiger Shark.  Its mouth is on its underside where it uses it to feed off of the bottom.   

The Bowmouth Guitarfish is also known as the Mud Skate or Shark Ray and is found around sandy bottoms or just on the outskirts of reefs.  They feed on crustaceans, molluscs, and small fishes.   This species of Guitarfish is quite large growing to 2.7 m (8.9 ft) in length and weighing 135 kg (300 lb)!  Over the years it has been proven that they are quite adaptable to captivity and are displayed in many aquariums throughout the world.  You can check out the Bowmouth Guitarfish underwater in the videos below.



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Shovelnose Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus platorynchus)


The Shovelnose Sturgeon or Scaphirhynchus platorynchus is one of the smallest of the freshwater sturgeons growing to about 30" in length, and weighing about 5 lbs maximum. Also known as the Sand Sturgeon, Hackleback or Switchtail, these fish are sought after not only for their flesh, but for their eggs as well, which are using to make caviar.  As you can see in the picture above, this fish has bony scutes along the sides and back, and four barbels on the underside of the rostrum. These four barbels form a straight line.  You can learn how to tell the difference between a Lake Sturgeon, a Pallid Sturgeon and a Shovelnose Sturgeon in the video below.

Shovelnose Sturgeon are found in the Missouri River and the Mississippi River systems. They use their vacuum-like mouth to suck up its food, which included insect larvae and small fish as well as crustaceans.  Because of its slow growth rate, late sexual maturity and the fact that it doesn't spawn every year, this fish is very vulnerable to overfishing.

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Banded Rudderfish (Seriola zonata)


The Banded Rudderfish or Seriola zonata is the one of the smallest species of Amber Jacks. The juveniles of this species have 6 black vertical bands running down their bodies. As they grow to over 10" these bands disappear making them much harder to differentiate between other species of saltwater fish, especially the Pilot Fish.   One good way to tell is the very tips of their tails are white. 

These fish are schooling fish that are often found following large creatures in the water and feeding off of their scraps.  Like other Jacks they are sought after by many fisherman and are said to be easy to catch with shrimp, flies and even spoons.  You can check out the Banded Rudderfish underwater in the video below.   

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Black Piranha (The Fish With The Most Powerful Bite)


The Black Piranha or Serrasalmus rhombeus is a freshwater fish found in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America.  This predator is known for its amazing bite!  In fact, the Black Piranha has the most powerful bite of any animal in history, even a T-Rex!  Their highly developed jaw muscles allow the black piranha to exert bite force equivalent to 30 times its bodyweight!  This is more then the Great White Shark and even more then it's prehistory cousin the Megalodon!  You can check out their powerful bite in the video below.   


Black Piranhas are light colored when they are young with black spots, but as they mature their bodies turn black and their eyes turn red.  This fish does is not a swarm hunter like is close relative the Red-bellied Piranhas, but it is still considered to be a dangerous fish.

They are sometime kept in an aquarium of at least 100 gallons and can grow to about 16" in length.  Dim lighting is said to make the Piranha feel at home.  As you can imagine they are a carnivore that needs plenty of live foods. 

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