Would you spear this fish?

  • I love to hunt, both with a bow on land and a speargun in the water. I'm just not a fan of killing anything that you don't intend to eat, give to others to eat, or use constructively in some other way. I don't count a big set of jaws on the wall as constructive.

    So the pictures of alien looking fish from South America or enormous catfish from, Thailand, or wherever don't generally get me riled up because I am pretty sure that they were eaten, and probably shared by many many people.

    I have a hard time believing that the gar was eaten, though. I know that the flesh "can" be eaten, but it usually isn't by people with access to anything else. As I recall, gar live a long time, so that fish might well be over 50 years old. I sort of feel the same way seeing pictures of enormous sharks killed just for the jaws and a photo. Same with the old safari pictures of the proud hunter with a dead lion or tiger.

    Of course self preservation is a whole 'nother thing. If it's him or me, I'll pick me every time.

  • I have the same sentiment Jeff. With regards to eating the gar; you probably know more about it than me, I'll just mention one thing that I read. I've seen various times references to gar roe being poisonous. If there is a concern about that it would seem to indicate that people consume them. At the least it should make some good dog or pig food.

    I just find this fish amazing. If you consider the structure of the head and teeth it is very similar to an alligator. However they are from completely different animal orders, one is a reptile and the other a bony fish. This is a clear demonstration of how evolution forces/molds an animal into the position it occupies in nature. The alligator and the gar achieved the same look coming at it from completely different directions.

  • People here do eat them. Usually, the soft, mushy flesh is rolled into meatball sized balls and deep fried. In fact, I have tried it myself. Maybe it's an acquired taste, but I did not find them enjoyable at all. No texture whatsoever. So I will certainly make room for the possibility that it MAY have been eaten. I just rather doubt it.

    That is one wicked looking set of jaws. I think that is called "convergent evolution", and it goes even further than the jaws. Gar are one of the relatively few fish that can "breathe" by gulping air into their swim bladders at the surface, thereby allowing them to survive in waters with very low oxygen concentration. I think tarpon can do the same thing. So in the alligator, you have an air breathing animal that has evolved to hold it's breath for a long time and hunt from the water. In the gar, a fish that has evolved to "breathe" air and hunt the same environment!

  • Correct, Arapaima.

    Some info.


    It is the largest freshwater fish in South America. As one of the most sought after food fish species in South America, it is often captured primarily by handheld nets for export, by spearfishing for local consumption, and, consequently, large arapaima of more than 2 m are seldom found in the wild today.

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