The Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum adds live fish to the already popular National Geographic Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants exhibition. The Discovery will be the temporary home to five unique species of fish on display through Sept. 5. The alligator gar, white sturgeon, redtail catfish, devil’s hole pupfish and an electric eel named “The Creature” are on display.
Monster Fish: In Search of the Last River Giants showcases the research of Dr. Zeb Hogan, National Geographic Explorer and assistant research professor in the College of Science at the University of Nevada, Reno. The Discovery’s presenting partner for Monster Fish is the University of Nevada, Reno College of Science.
Electric eels get their name from the electrical charge they can generate to stun prey. They live in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America. Electric eels can grow to 8 feet (2.5 meters) in length. The eel on display at The Discovery, named “The Creature”, is visiting from its permanent home at Blue Note B’s Horn Shop here in Reno, Nevada.
Most sturgeon species are endangered due to overfishing for their eggs, which are sold as caviar. The white sturgeon on display at The Discovery have been raised at a sustainable facility in Galt, California. In the wild, white sturgeon can grow to 10 - 12 feet in length.
Redtail Catfish live in the Amazon and can grow as large as 5 feet (1.56 meters) in length in the wild. They are known for their large bony heads, red tail and white belly. In some regions they are called banana fish.
Alligator Gar are freshwater fish found only in North America. They are generally sluggish fish but are capable of impressive bursts of speed. In the wild they can grow to be 10 feet (3.15 meters) in length and weigh over 300 pounds. One gar caught in Mississippi in 2011 weighted 327 pounds and was over 95 years old.
Devil’s Hole Pupfish
Devil’s Hole Pupfish are extremely rare and are only found in Nevada. The pupfish on display at The Discovery are hybrids created by crossing Devil’s Hole Pupfish and Ash Meadows Amargosa Pupfish, both endangered species. Pupfish can grow to about 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in length.