Wels Catfish Facts
|Size||47-63 inch (120-160 cm)|
|Weight||22-110 lb (10-50 kg)|
|Food||Ducks, fish, birds|
|Habitat||Rivers and lakes in Europe|
|Scientific name||Silurus glanis|
|Characteristics||Eel-like body; gray-brown; large eyes; massive mout|
The wels catfish is the largest freshwater fish in Europe. It has long barbels around its mouth that look like antennae or feelers. It can use its barbels to feel and even taste the ground - like a tongue.
“What a catch!” is surely what every fisher thinks when they see a fully grown wels catfish at the end of their line. The wels catfish usually grows to 47-63 inch (120-160 cm) long and weighs up to 110 lb (50 kg). It’s rare that these fish get any bigger or heavier. But there are more and more reports of giant wels catfish that are 9.8-16.4 ft (3-5 m) long and weigh 440-881 lb (200-400 kg). It seems like some people might be exaggerating. In 2015, a wels catfish was found in the Italian river of Po weighing 279 lb (127 kg) and measuring 8.75 ft (2.67 m) long.
Mom of many
Between May and June, the male digs a trough. In this trough, the female lays 200,000 eggs. The male then fertilizes them.
When finding food, the wels catfish’s eyes don’t play a major role. It has a very good sense of taste and smell that it can rely on. The wels catfish has the most taste buds of all animals: over 250,000.
The wels catfish can live to be 50, sometimes even 80 years old.
This fact sheet was submitted by animalfunfacts.net fan Naima. Thanks for your amazing article! Do you want to write a fan factsheet?
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- Video: All About Animal Senses - like the catfish’s sense of taste.