Today I want to write about a really cool, big fish, the Murray cod.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- The largest freshwater fish in Australia, regularly growing to over a metre in length. The largest ever recorded was 1.8 metres long and weighed about 113 kg. Despite their name, they are not related to the cod species of the northern hemisphere.
- Murray cod are the top predator in their habitat and will eat anything that they can fit in their very large mouths, including fish, yabbies and other freshwater crayfish, shrimp, freshwater mussels and even waterfowl, small mammals and tortoises.
- At breeding time, females lay thousand of eggs. The first time they breed, they may about 10,000 eggs, but older females can lay about 100,000 eggs. Most of these eggs never become fully grown adults.
- Murray cod are an important part of many Australian aboriginal mythologies. Some of their myths describe a giant cod creating the Murray River by fleeing down a small stream, being chased by a hunter. According to the stories, as the fish thrashed his tail, he created the bends in the great river.
- Unfortunately, the iconic Murray cod is considered vulnerable to extinction due to over fishing, barriers to water flow for irrigation, the removal of logs and other underwater habitat for breeding and the introduction of fish species that bring disease and eat the Murray cod larvae. Thankfully there is a plan to restore these wonderful fish to greater numbers and save them from extinction.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about Murray cod?