Elephantnose fish

Creature Feature – Elephantnose Fish

This week is the letter ‘E’, and today’s featured creature is the Elephantnose Fish.

Otherwise known as long-nosed elephant fish and Peter’s elephant-nose fish after the German naturalist Wilhelm Peters, this fish is a freshwater species famous for its long snout that can extend far out. This species has the highest weight ratio of brain to body among all the described vertebrates

Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Osteoglossiformes

Family: Mormyridae

Genus: Gnathonemus

Elephantnose Fish Fact File

? Size: Individuals can reach up to 35cm in length and weighs around 26g

? Distribution: Originating from the rivers of Central and Western Africa, this species can be found inhabiting rivers that have slow flowing movement as well as bodies such as pools covered with submerged branches 

? Diet: Primarily scavengers, they feed on small worms and aquatic invertebrates, such as mosquito larvae 

? Behaviour: They use a weak electric field, which it generates with specialized cells called electrocytes, which evolved from muscle cells, to find prey, to navigate, and to find a mate

? IUCN Status: Least Concern. There are no known major widespread threats to this species