Happy National Catfish Day!

Published June 25, 2013

Today is National Catfish Day! 

Did you know the National Aquarium is home to 34 species of catfish? We have catfish of all shapes and sizes - here are just a few of our largest and smallest:

In celebration of this great day, here are some fascinating catfish facts: 

  • These aren’t felines who have developed gills - Catfish are actually named for their barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers.
  • Catfish are nocturnal creatures.
  • Species of catfish can be found on every continent expect Antarctica.
  • Catfish are bottom feeders. Most species use their sucker mouths as little vacuums, grabbing up morsels of food! Watch our whiptail catfish  vacuuming up some treats in our Amazon River Forest exhibit.
  • Catfish have no scales!
  • A new species of suckermouth catfish was just discovered in 2012!
  • Catfish have one of the largest ranges of size of any species of bony fish - with the smallest species measuring in at only about 1 centimeter and the largest species at 8.2 feet.
  • The striped eel catfish is the only species of catfish that lives in coral reefs. They're also one of the 1,600 species of venomous catfish.

Got a question about catfish? Ask us in the comments section! 

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