Fun Giant Pangasius Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Sep 10, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Gowri Rao
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Here are some amazing giant pangasius facts.

If you find learning about different species of fish interesting, then you should definitely read about the giant pangasius. The giant pangasius endemic to Asia is also known by common names like pangasid catfish, Chao Phraya giant catfish, and paroon shark.

The giant pangasius, paroon shark, Chao Phraya giant catfish, or pangasid catfish is a member of the order Siluriformes and is a species of catfish.

It was given the sceitific name Pangasius sanitwongsei. The scientific name 'Pangasius sanitwongsei' is given after M. R. Suwaphan Sanitwong who was a great supporter of fisheries in Thailand.

The giant pangasius is a silverish or dark brown colored fish with dark grey pectoral, dorsal and pelvic fins. The body of the species is elongated and the head is compressed that makes the fish look a little intimidating. They are currently listed as Critically Endangered as years of overfishing have affected their population.

To learn more about the giant pangasius, read on. Check out sand tiger shark and African catfish to learn about other species.

Giant Pangasius Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant pangasius?

Giant pangasius is a species of freshwater fish that is a part of the shark catfish family. It belongs to the order Siluriformes and genus Pangasius.

What class of animal does a giant pangasius belong to?

The Chao Phraya giant catfish (Pangasius sanitwongsei) or giant pangasius belongs to the Actinopterygii class of the Animalia kingdom. It is a member of the fish family Pangasiidae and Phylum Chordata. It also goes by the names pangasid catfish and paroon shark.

How many giant pangasius' are there in the world?

The populations of the Chao Phraya giant catfish (Pangasius sanitwongsei) have declined over the years. Moreover, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN, the population is decreasing further. However, the exact number of giant pangasius living in this world is not known.

Where does a giant pangasius live?

The giant pangasius is endemic to Asia. It inhabits the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins in Lao, Thailand, Cambodia, PDR, and Vietnam, as evident from their common name Chao Phraya giant catfish. Apart from the Chao Phraya and Mekong basins, this species of fish is found in Central Anatolia.

What is a giant pangasius' habitat?

The giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is a freshwater fish native to the basins of Asia. Large rivers surrounded by rainforests are the natural habitat for the giant pangasius catfish.

Being often kept in captivity, this species can live in an aquarium. The length of the aquarium should be big enough for it to swim around freely. It is noticed that the length of the fish is not fully reached if kept in a smaller aquarium.

Who do giant pangasius' live with?

Unfortunately, very little is known about if the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) likes living singly or in groups.

How long does a giant pangasius live?

The lifespan of the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) remains unknown.

How do they reproduce?

During the mating season, the giant pangasius, paroon shark, or Chao Phraya giant catfish swims to a muddier area. They mostly spawn right before the monsoon season. Like fishes of many other species, the female releases their eggs in the water and the male releases their sperm simultaneously.

The clutch consists of about 600 eggs. This species of fish, are not much protective of the eggs or the juveniles. They tend to swim away after spawning and let the eggs be unattained.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN has given the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) the status of Critically Endangered. The populations of the species of pangasius have declined drastically over the years.

Giant Pangasius Fun Facts

What do giant pangasius' look like?

The Critically Endangered species of fish giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) has a sliver and brown-colored body with dusky pigments. It grows quite a long elongated body and has a flat wide head.

The fish has about 26 rays in their anal fins. The pectoral fins, the caudal fins, and the dorsal fins, and the pelvic fins have a dark grayish coloration.

Giant pangasius facts are fun to read.

How cute are they?

The giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) with their elongated body and the depressed head does not really appear cute. The overall color of the fish is silverish and brown and the pectoral, caudal, dorsal, and pelvic fins are dark grey so they do not appear colorful like a yellow tang either.

Moreover, the length of the pangasius is quite big and can intimidate anybody.

How do they communicate?

Not much is known about the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) communication. Fishes, in general, communicate through vibrations that they send through the water.

How big is a giant pangasius?

Giant pangasius is a large species of pangasius. It can reach a length of 9.8 ft (3 m). If we compare the length of the giant pangasius with a channel catfish, the giant pangasius is way bigger.

How fast can a giant pangasius swim?

The exact speed range at which the giant pangasius swims is not known.

How much does a giant pangasius weigh?

Being one of the largest species of freshwater fishes, the giant pangasius can weigh up to 660 lb (300 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There is no specific name for male and female fishes. They are referred to as male giant pangasius and female giant pangasius.

What would you call a baby giant pangasius?

A baby or juvenile giant pangasius can be referred to as 'fry'.

What do they eat?

The giant pangasius preys on a smaller species found near their habitat range. Various crustaceans become a part of their food chart. Apart from that, smaller fishes found in the river, shrimps, and crabs are also food to these large Critically Endangered species.

Are they dangerous?

No, giant pangasius cannot be considered dangerous. They are not a threat to humans in any way.

Would they make a good pet?

The giant pangasius can be seen in public aquariums. It needs a large-sized aquarium where it can swim freely and grow accordingly.

However, as they are Critically Endangered and the population is decreasing further, keeping this fish in captivity is not advised.

Did you know...

The giant pangasius is safe for consumption by humans. In fact, they are often found fresh in markets.

Where is the giant pangasius from?

The giant pangasius or the Chao Phraya giant catfish is endemic to Asia. They are from the southeastern basins that are Chao Phraya and Mekong basins in Lao, Thailand, Cambodia, PDR, and Vietnam.

Why is the giant pangasius endangered?

The giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei) is currently listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or the IUCN. The main reason behind this poor population of Pangasius sanitwongsei is overfishing. Other than that, the construction of dams has restricted the fish from migrating and as a result, get trapped.

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 nurse shark facts and king salmon facts for kids.

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

Main image by Raita Futo and second image by .

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Gowri Rao

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gowri Rao picture

Gowri RaoBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

With a bachelor's degree in Economics from Krea University, Gowri is a highly skilled data analyst and an expert in regression and causation modeling. Her interests in economic trends, finance, and investment research complement her professional expertise. In addition to her professional pursuits, Gowri enjoys swimming, running, and playing the drums, and she is also a talented tutor.

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