Paroon Shark

The Paroon Shark (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is a critically endangered freshwater fish in the Pangasiidae family of shark catfish. It is also known as the Giant Pangasius or the Pangasid-Catfish.

The Paroon Shark has a silver, curved underside and a dark-brown back. It has a wide, flat, whiskerless head. Its dorsal, pectoral and pelvic fins are dark-grey. Its dorsal fin is long and trailing.

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Bristlenose Catfish

The Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus cirrhosus) is a freshwater fish in the Loricariidae family. It is also known as the Bushynose Catfish.

The Bristlenose Catfish has an armour-plated body – it is covered with bony plates. It has a suckermouth and a flattened, wide head. The male has fleshy tentacles, similar to spines, on his head. The female has much smaller tentacles on her nose. It can be brown, grey, grey, golden, or albino, with tiny white or yellowish spots.

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Black Pacu

The Black Pacu (Colossoma macropomum) is a tropical freshwater fish in the Serrasalmidae family – it is a serrasalmid fish, meaning ‘serrated salmon family.’ It is also known as the Tambaqui and the Black-Finned Pacu. It is a characin fish, like the Tetra.

The Black Pacu is similar in shape to the Piranha because it is laterally compressed with large eyes and a slightly arched back. It has molar-like teeth, similar to human teeth (not sharp teeth like the Piranha). The lower part of its body is blackish, and the rest of its body is grey, yellowish, or olive. Its fins are black.

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Doctor’s Cichlid

The Doctor’s Cichlid (Pseudotropheus “daktari”) is a tropical freshwater fish. It is also known as the Blue Daktari or Scissor Tail Cichlid. Daktari is Swahili for doctor.

The male Doctor’s Cichlid is bright yellow with a little bit of blue or purple sheen, whereas the femal is pinkish-tan. The male and female have a black trim on the top and bottom edge of their tail fin. Its body is slightly elongated.

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Mexican Walking Fish

The Mexican Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum) is a freshwater amphibian in the salamander family. It is also known as the Mexican Walking Fish, but it is not a fish. Toads, frogs, newts, salamanders and axolotl are amphibians, living partly in water and partly on land. However, the axolotl never leaves the water.

The Mexican Axolotl remains in the amphibian tadpole form, with gills, and never becomes an ‘adult’ with lungs. This is called partial metamorphosis. It has a wide head, and their eyes do not have eye-lids. It has four feathery external gills on the side of its head. It has little, under-developed legs. It is olive-green, with a lighter underbelly. It does not have scales – it has moist, smooth skin like the skin of frogs.

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Rainfall Patterns: how much is too much rain?

Rainfall is called precipitation. Rain is freshwater, not saltwater.

Precipitation includes rain, drizzle, sleet, snow, graupel, and hail. It is water vapour that condenses and falls to earth. (Mist and fog are not precipitation because they do not fall; the moisture remains in a cloud near the ground).

A little bit of very small drops of rain that falls very gently is called drizzle.

A little bit of rain that falls steadily is called a rain shower.

Rain with small ice pellets is called sleet.

Rain with heavy and large ice pellets is called hail.

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Chinese Softshell Turtle

The Chinese Softshell Turtle (Pelodiscus sinensis) is a freshwater chelonian and a reptile. It is called softshell because its shell does not have scales – instead, its shell is leathery and flexible, which enables it to move more easily at the bottom of muddy lakes.

The Chinese Softshell Turtle has an olive-green upper shell, called a carapace. Its lower shell, called a plastron, is orange-red. Its legs and head are olive-green. It has dark flecks on its head and dark lines from its eyes. Its throat is mottled. It has a long snout (nose) and a short tail. It has flipper feet to enable it to swim in water.

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Pygmy Hippopotamus

The Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensisor Hexaprotodon liberiensis) is a small hippopotamid. It is a semi-aquatic mammal. Hexaprotodon means six front teeth. It is closely related to the whale and the dolphin.

The Pygmy Hippopotamus has a brownish-grey to pinkish barrel-shaped body with short legs. Its skin is virtually hairless, but it does have some bristles. It has four toes on each foot. It has ivory teeth. It has small ears, small dark eyes, and large nostrils. It has a short tail with a tuft of hair at the end.

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Colchis Pond Terrapin

The Colchis Pond Terrapin (Emys orbicularis colchica) is a semi-aquatic freshwater chelonian, and a reptile.

The Colchis Pond Terrapin has a light-brown and dark-brown top shell, called a carapace, with a distinctive pattern and a slight dome. Its bottom shell, called a plastron, is beige to light-brown. It has an oval-shaped head with large dark eyes. Its feet have claws with webbing in between to enable it to walk on land and swim in water.

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Caspian Shemaya

The Caspian Shemaya (Alburnus chalcoides) is a common and widespread freshwater cyprinid fish. It is also called the Danube Bleak.

The Caspian Shemaya is an elongated fish with no scales at its posterior end near its tail. It has 18-31 gills. Its long, thin teeth are curved inwards. It is metallic silver with a contrasting olive-green back. Its eyes are bright silver. The dorsal and caudal fins are greyish and its other fins are colourless to whitish.

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Clown Knifefish

The Clown Knifefish (Chitala chitala) is a freshwater fish. It is also known as the Indian Featherback.

The Clown Knifefish is an elongated fish with silver scales and faint silvery bars along its back. It has a series of dark spots towards the rear of its body. Its locomotion (movement) is unusual, as it uses its paddle tail (like an eel) and anal fin to steer itself. Continue reading “Clown Knifefish”