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Chinese Paddlefish

With the alias of elephant fish, it is a member of the Polyodontidae family of Acipenseriformes order. Its Latin scientific name is Psephurus gladius.       

It is a large fresh water fish with maximal weight of hundreds of kilograms. Its body is spindle-shaped with flat forehead and tail. It has a big head and a long snout in the shape of sword. Its body surface is bare with no scales, eyes are thin and small, and a pair of beards is on the ventral side of snout. The mouth fissure is large. The starting point of back fin is behind the starting point of the correspondent ventral fin. Both back fin and ventral fin are composed of non-branching fin rays. Its tail fin is oblique, with the upper lobe longer than the lower one. The head, body back and tail fin are steel gray, but its belly is white.

It has the habit of upstream migration. Its breeding season is during March and April. It is a ferocious animal, feeding on fishes and shrimps. It has a tremendous appetite and can eat as much as 5% of its weight each time.

Chinese Paddlefish lives in the Yangtze River, Qiantang River and shoal zones along the East China Sea.