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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Fin-tastic Facts About The Common Carp For Kids

One of the interesting common carp facts is that they are widely bred for their nutritional and calorific value

The common carp, Cyprinus carpio, is one of the most common and widely spread fish across the globe. It is thought that these fish originated from Asia and then spread across the world. It is bred in captivity and consumed more in Europe and very widely in Asia as a delicacy. The juvenile common carp are preyed upon by fish such as largemouth bass, northern pike, and birds.

There are different types and subtypes of common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Based on their habitat and type they are known as grass carp, mirror carp, mud carp, and silver carp to name a few. Additionally, you have catla carp, Leather carp, Mrigal, and Black carp. These are the different carp varieties that are found in the natural habitat as well as reared for food.

Common carp, Cyprinus carpio, is commonly found in freshwater in all the parts of the earth. These are found naturally and also bred for fish meat in captive ponds and lakes. Millions of these fish are bred and caught each year as part of fish produce.

You may also check out the fact files on pumpkinseed sunfish facts and suckerfish facts from Kidadl.

Common Carp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common carp?

Common carp, or European carp, is a widespread freshwater fish.

What class of animal does a common carp belong to?

Common carp is a type of organism that belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many common carp are there in the world?

An exact count not available.

Where does a common carp live?

Common carp are found around the world. It is widely sought after and bred for food in most Asian countries including India. It has also been reared for its meat in Europe. It is found in the US as well.

What is a common carp's habitat?

Carps species are generally freshwater fish. A vast majority of carps grow in the common carp habitat of freshwater of lakes, ponds, rivers, and rivulets. There is only one type of carp, the Tribolodon that can survive in saltwater. Carps prefer the shallow and muddy waters of the freshwater spaces in their native habitat. This kind of habitat is easy to replicate for domesticated carps during common carp farming where the farmers create artificial pond and pools which are shallow and muddy to breed carps in.

Who do common carp live with?

The common carp species are seen to live in schools of five or more in lakes and ponds. They also live in the presence of and with other small and big fish as well as micro-organisms that exist in their native habitat.

How long does a common carp live?

The common carp lifespan is about 20 years. There could be individual differences in longevity based on the kind of environment and nutrients available in the freshwater where they live.

How do they reproduce?

The method of carp reproducing is known as spawning. This happens when the adult male and the female fish swim side by side. The female fish lays the eggs and each female could have up to seven males fertilizing her eggs. The period of spawning is not limited to a single day. Spawning of common carp may occur for quite a few days and lead to the fertilization process.

A large female carp can produce up to a million eggs and more than 80% of these eggs get fertilized by the males present in the water alongside the female. Multiply it with the number of females present in the body of water to get a sense of the scale of fishes being spawned. This is one of the factors that makes carp such a favorite with breeders for commercial cultivation of carp.

Common carp spawning season in tropical areas is all year round. The peak spawning times of the year in India are between the months of January to March and between July to August.

In the UK the warmer months of May and June are the typical spawning times during the year. This is true for most countries in Europe as well.

There are many factors that determine the spawning of carp. Water quality and temperature, the amount of dissolved oxygen as well as the length of the day determine the start of the spawning season. This is more evident in the temperate climates as compared to the tropics which are relatively warm throughout the year.

What is their conservation status?

The Common carp species are abundantly found in nature and are not threatened in any way. There is hence no need for any conservation efforts to protect common carp from extinction.

Common Carp Fun Facts

What do common carp look like?

Common carp is one of the most widely cultivated fish for food.

The common carp has a light to dark brown color. This is the most widely found and bred carp. Scales on this carp are large with a long dorsal fin. They also have hook-like protrusions on the side of the mouth. The leather carp is smaller in size as compared to common carp. Its scales are so small that they seem to be virtually absent. It is shiny in nature and hence looks like leather.

The grass carp can grow to quite a length. It does not have any whiskers. The dorsal fin is higher and shorter as compared to the common carp. Mirror carp are rather large in size and have spots on their scales which are of different colors. Black carp are much darker in color and the bodies are sleek and long. Carp species are quite distinctive in their look and you can easily distinguish one type of carp from the other types.

How cute are they?

One cannot really categorize all types of the common carp fish species as being cute. There is one type of carp that is cute and beautiful. This is the goldfish that has an attractive golden color that is found in aquariums around the world. Goldfish can be termed as cute as well as beautiful.

How do they communicate?

Carp have a sense of touch and hearing. They have a well-developed lateral line that gives them a good sense of what is happening around them. This is with respect to what the other carp around them are doing. For instance, they have the ability to hear each other chewing their food.

How big is a common carp?

The common carp can vary quite a lot as far as size is concerned. There is a wide range of 17.5-31 in (44.4-78.7 cm) that the common carp could be in length. This gives an idea of the level of variation in common carp size.

How fast can a common carp swim?

It swims slowly generally. If threatened it can swim faster to get away from predators.

How much does a common carp weigh?

Like its length, there is a wide variation in the weight of the common carp. it can vary from  4.5-31 lb (2.04-14.06 kg). There is certainly a correlation between the length and the weight of the common carp. This could also vary based on the life stage of the carp from juvenile to adult stage.

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for common carp.

What would you call a baby common carp?

Baby common carp are commonly known as carp fish fry.

What do they eat?

Common carp eating habits include eating aquatic plants as well as animals which means that carp are omnivorous. But, they primarily feed on plants. The common carp diet includes a wide range of organisms such as aquatic plants, snails, fish eggs, mayflies, insects, and dragonflies.

Are they eaten by humans?

Yes, humans eat common carp, either by baking it or deep-frying it. Also, since they contain healthy muscle oil, eating fried carp can be good for your health. Other carps that are eaten by humans are Bighead carp, Chinese mud carp, and Crucian carp.

Would they make a good pet?

Common carp, invasive species, does make a good pet. The golden-colored goldfish is a kind of carp that was domesticated first. It was then bred in China more than a thousand years back for its color. In due course of time, the carp was exported from China to Japan to be domesticated. It was also bred there for its beautiful golden color and not as a food item as such. One of the popular types of carp bred for color is known as Koi. The Koi are reared carefully as indoor ornamental fish in Japan. In other parts of the world, the Koi are bred as fish for fish tanks and ponds as part of the domesticated carp habitat.

Did you know...

There is a reason why so many countries around the globe rear carp through aquaculture. Carp is an excellent freshwater fish with a unique and delectable taste that endears it to fish eaters around the globe. The other reason is that carp has many health benefits. It aids in the functioning of the respiratory system and is good for the heart. Carp provides protein to build up the immune system and is also excellent for the digestive system. In addition to this, eating carp is also able to help to fend off chronic diseases. It is no wonder then that carp is one of the favorite foods on tables spanning from the US to Europe to many countries in Asia where it is a cherished delicacy. European common carp fish has been mostly used for human consumption through local fisheries.

Wild common carps are very healthy as they are a rich source of minerals and vitamins like vitamin B12. They also provide an ample source of fatty acids, antioxidants, and proteins.

How frequently are common carp introduced?

Common carp, native to Europe, has been widely introduced. In fact, they are the third on the list of most frequently introduced species worldwide. An example of this is the carp population in North America. The species was not native to the continent but was introduced to North America in the mid-1800s.

What is the largest recorded common carp caught?

The largest common carp record is 100.5 lbs (45.58 kg) which was caught at Etang La Saussaie Fishery, France, in 2013 by an angler named Colin Smith.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these blue catfish facts and amberjack facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Common carp coloring pages.

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