Monday, September 5, 2011

Longnose Gar

Longnose Gars can be found throughout the eastern United States, as well as in Canada and northern Mexico. They are often spotted in large, slow moving rivers and lakes. They can also survive very well in brackish waters.
Lepisosteus osseus

Longnose Gars get their name because their snouts are more than twice the length of the rest of their heads. And what's inside those snouts? A long row of teeth! Thought they eat a lot of invertebrates as juveniles, Adult Longnose Gars hunt mainly other fish. They are ambush predators, catching prey on their sharp teeth and then thrashing back and forth to further impale them.

Longnose Gars have an interesting mating system. As many as fifteen males will spawn with a single female at the same time. As the female swims and deposits her eggs (which are sticky and adhere to the river bottoms) the males move along behind her releasing sperm. Gar eggs hatch in as quickly as 3 days, but it will take the young fish either 4 years (if male) or 6 years (if female) to reach sexual maturity. Longnose Gars can live close to 20 years!

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : North America
Size : Length up to 72in (182cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Actinopterygii -- Order : Lepisosteiformes
Family : Lepisosteidae -- Genus : Lepisosteus -- Species : L. osseus

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