Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Senegal Bichir
Common Name Gray Bichir, Cuvier's Bichir, Dinosaur Eel
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Polypteriformes
Family Polypteridae
Genus Polypterus
Species Polypterus senealus

Senegal Bichirs are a species of fish in the Polypterus genus. Senegal bichirs have long bodies with a serrated dorsal fin that goes along their body and meets the caudal fin. Senegal bichirs grow up to about fourteen inches. Their sense of smell is very skilled as their eyesight is very poor. These fish have lungs that make them have to swim to the surface every so often to breathe. Senegal bichirs are also able to survive while outside of water, as long as their skin stays moist.


There are three subspecies of Senegal bichirs; P. s. senegalus, P. s. meridionalis, as well as one unnamed subspecies of bichir.


While in captivity, bichirs will feed on any living or dead animal that they can break apart and swallow. Because their pectoral fins are positioned behind their gills, they cannot swim very fast which prevents them from eating all the other fish in an aquarium that they are placed in. They can, however, swim quickly in short bursts but fish that can swim at average speeds can save themselves, altough they will eventually be caught and eaten. Bichirs shouldn't be kept with fish that are smaller than three inches.