Our animals

Select zone

Northern lakes and seas

The ocean

Tropical rivers and lakes

Select aquaria

Dwarf mormyrid

Electric eel

Cave tetra

Select species

Select a species to read more


Elephantnose fish

Elephantnose fish

Wormjawed mormyrid

Wormjawed mormyrid

Dwarf mormyrid

Dwarf mormyrid

Norman's lampeye

Norman's lampeye

Mango Pleco

Mango Pleco

Orchid Leather Neck Whiptail

Orchid Leather Neck Whiptail

Galaxy pleco

Galaxy pleco

Blue Congo Cichlid

Blue Congo Cichlid

Common Bristlenose Catfish

Common Bristlenose Catfish

Wormjawed mormyrid

Wormjawed mormyrid

Facts

LatinCampylomormyrus tamandua
Size43 cm
FoodBottom-dwelling animals
HabitatMuddy and vegetated areas of rivers
IUCN

Least concern

LocationCentral Africa
Map

Identify the elephantnose fish

The elephantnose fish's mouth resembles a trunk. Its body is dark grey to black in colour, and the two fins located in front of the tail – the dorsal fin and the anal fin – are symmetrical.

The strangest fish of the dark

The elephantnose fish lives at the bottom of slow-moving major rivers. It is active at night and with its electrical sense and movable trunk-like mouth, it locates small prey in the mud.

Detects signals

The elephantnose fish's tail is covered with sensory cells that pick up electrical impulses from other animals' nerves, hearts and muscles. Using this electrolocation sense, the elephantnose fish finds worms and insects even though they are hidden in the mud.

Seeing in the dark

The elephantnose fish finds its way around using electrolocation. It creates a weak electrical field around itself. When stones and plants enter into the electrical field, the elephantnose fish can feel them. The elephantnose fish can form a highly detailed picture of its surroundings.

A big brain

The elephantnose fish's brain is quite large in relation to its weight, compared with other fish. It uses its large brain to process all of the different impressions it perceives with its electrolocation sense. However, its large brain does not make the elephantnose fish a particularly intelligent animal.

Electrical talk

The elephantnose fish uses small electrical shocks to talk with members of its own species. Especially when it is looking for a mate, the elephantnose fish must clearly signal who it is and where it comes from. Elephantnose fish from different areas do not usually breed together. They have developed different electrical dialects to communicate.


Neon tetra

Arowana

The interesting species of the river

Arapaima

Piranha

Stream aquarium

Under the riverbank

River cichlids

The plants in the river

Angelfish

Armored predators

Discusfish

Veiled chameleon

African river

Archerfish

Endangered species

Lake Tanganyika

Lake Malawi