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Aba-Aba (Gymnarchus niloticus)

Also known as the African Knifefish or the Freshwater rat-tail the Aba-aba is a species of Osteoglossiform fish native to swamps and muddy rivers of Northern Africa. Like alot of fish of its order the aba-aba is very long and slender with adults growing up to 5 feet long. The fish only has a dorsal fin which it wriggles back and forth as its main source of propulsion. They have very poor eyesight and rely on a weak electric field to navigate their murky surroundings.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Osteoglossiformes-Gymnarchidae-Gymnarchus-niloticus

Image Sources: 1,2

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Native to western Africa and commonly found in still, murky, muddy waters of rivers, lakes, and swamps, the elephantnose fish (Gnathosomus petersii) possesses a weak electrical system that functions as a kind of radar to detect obstacles, food, and mates. The highly mobile, finger-like appendage on its chin is used for probing the muddy bottom in search of food. The elephantnose has an unusually large brain that, in relation to body mass, is equaled only by that of humans. Perhaps for this reason, it has a remarkable ability to learn and its playful personality makes it a popular aquarium fish.

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Clown Knifefish (Chitala chitala)

….a species of freshwater knifefish that occurs in India, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries. Significant populations have also been introduced to the United States. Clown knifefish typically inhabit large freshwater rivers and swamps. They are predators and will feed on small fish, shrimp, molluscs, and aquatic insects. Female C. chitala will lay their eggs against wood and males will fan them with their tail, keep them aerated and protect them from predators.

Due to their large (3 ft) size C. chitala is considered a delicacy and many countries. It is also fairly popular in the aquarium trade as well.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Osteoglossiformes-Notopteridae-Chitalta-C. chitala

Images: aquariumba and wetwebmedia

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