The Chinese Paddlefish is one of the largest freshwater fish that survived for millions of years. The paddlefish declared to be extinct, according to new research by fish experts in China.
The giant species is native to the Yangtze River. It could reach up to 7 meters (23 feet) in length and can weigh up to 450 kilograms (992 pounds). The Chinese Paddlefish are known for their silver-colored body and long snout last spotted by researchers in 2003.
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Scientists believe that the giant fish completely vanished in the wild between 2005 to 2010. This was after a capture mission failed to find any evidence of their existence.
The Chinese Paddlefish is also known as the Chinese Swordfish. It was part of an ancient group of fish that lived since the Lower Jurassic period around 200 million years ago.
Listed as endangered species in 2009 following an earlier survey by the same scientists, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). China listed the fish as a nationally protected animal in the 1980s. But the IUCN said the construction of dams on the Yangtze River prevented the fish to migrate and breed.
Researchers said its extinction highlighted the importance of enacting measures to protect other endangered Yangtze wildlife, such as the narrow-ridged finless porpoise.