Amazonians have found the arapaima, which is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world in the Amazon river basin. This fish is capable of growing three meters long and weighing 200 kilograms or 440 pounds. It can withstand a day out of the water and breathes air, allowing it to exist in water with limited oxygen. It consumes fish, as well as birds, lizards, and small animals. It can crush them with its toothy tongue. This evolutionary masterpiece has an even better trick: its scales, which have been compared to a bullet-proof vest, defend it from piranha assaults, according to researchers. Their strong but flexible qualities have even drawn the notice of the US Air Force.

The arapaima is an animal Terminator, but it has a fatal flaw: it’s delicious to eat. It’s locally known as pirarucu and “The cod of Amazon” due to its firm white flesh and few bones. The fish is not only a valuable food source for locals but is also appreciated by sophisticated eaters in some of Brazil’s most populous cities. As a result of overfishing, the arapaima population began to dwindle in the 1990s. At that time, measures were adopted to prevent arapaima fishing. On the other hand, illegal fishing continued, resulting in the extinction of the species in sections of the Amazon. That is no longer the case, thanks to the efforts of environmentalists and local communities over the past two decades. Furthermore, the arapaima has not vanished from the plates.