Snakehead fish that can survive on land for four days found in Georgia
Oct. 11, 2019
A fish that can survive for four days out of water has been found in US state Georgia for the first time, suggesting the species' population is expanding in America .
The invasive species known as the northern snakehead is native to China , Russia and parts of southeast Asia .
It was reported in Europe for the first time in former Czechoslovakia in the 1950s and the first snakeheads were spotted in the US in 2002.
But the fish has since established itself across 14 states where it is a top-level predator and poses a significant threat to fish populations.
It also has an unusual respiratory system that allows it to survive out of the water for up to four days.
The Georgia Department of Wildlife Resources has called anglers the "first line of defence" against the species.
They call on people fishing to make sure they keep bait away from the water when not fishing and to dispose of it properly to make sure they don't accidentally feed the snakeheads.
People are advised to “kill it immediately and freeze it” if a snakehead is caught, according to official advise.
The snakehead has distinctive markings which are similar to patterns seen on rattlesnake species.
It can double its population in less than two years and females lay up to 100,000 eggs a year. It reaches sexual maturity at two or three years old.
They tend to feed on other fish, crustaceans, other invertebrates and amphibians.
The largest ever specimen caught in the US was in 2018 when a specimen weighing 19.9lb (9kg) and 35.15 inch (89.2cm) in length was shot with a bow and arrow.
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