Fun Giant Trevally Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Giant Trevally Facts For Kids

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The more we get to know about the marine world, the more interesting it becomes. One of the largest and strongest fish, the giant trevally, Caranx Ignobilis, or the lowly trevally is truly unique, and different from the bluefin trevally. It can be easily distinguished in the oceans due to its steep head profile. These are highly prized game fish, particularly with anglers, that have been a part of our world since pre-historic times, roaming the ocean near the Hawaiian islands, and were used in ceremonial fishing in Hawaii a long time ago. This fish inhabits a wide range of marine environments and can be seen inhabiting coral reefs and lagoons. One of the most unique characteristics of the giant trevally is its ability to lose its dark color and become more silvery-gray when it feels threatened or stressed. Keep reading these interesting facts to know more about this large fish.

For more relatable content, check out swai fish and rainbow trout.

Fun Giant Trevally Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Cephalopods, crustaceans, mollusks, and other ocean creatures

What do they eat?

Sea creatures

Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

132 lb (60 kg)

How long are they?

5.5-6 ft (1.7-1.8 m)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?


Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Climate Change, Anglers

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Tropical And Sub Tropical Waters


Africa, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Australia, Hawaiian Islands, Ogasawara Islands









Giant Trevally Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a giant trevally?

The giant trevally is a type of fish that is usually silvery-grayin color, not to be confused with the bluefin trevally.

What class of animal does a giant trevally belong to?

The Caranx ignobilis belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many giant trevally are there in the world?

The exact population of giant trevallies in this world is unknown.

Where does a giant trevally live?

The lowly trevally species can be found swimming their way in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Bay of Bengal and the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific oceans.  They can be found worldwide stretching from Hawaii in the east and South Africa in the west to Japan in the north and Australia in the south, especially in Northern Australia.  

What is a giant trevally's habitat?

These creatures can be found in shallow coastal waters, traveling through the different reef patches. Their habitat consists of places that are abundant with coral reefs, rocky reefs, and shoreface like the Indo pacific region.

Who do giant trevallies live with?

After reaching sexual maturity, the giant trevally prefers to lead a solitary life. They only come in contact with other giant trevallies during mating.

How long does a giant trevally live?

The lifespan of giant trevally is approximately 24 years.

How do they reproduce?

The giant trevally species reach sexual maturity between the ages of three and five. During spawning, the male giant trevally's body appears to be darker than its female counterpart. Their spawning sites include reef passages and the outer edge of fringing reefs and they are more likely to spawn during the summer months. Their spawning cycle at times may also be related to the cycle of the moon. They travel long distances to breed. Thousands of eggs are released by the female on the reef and these eggs are later fertilized by the males.

What is their conservation status?

The giant trevally is of Least Concern as assessed by the IUCN. However, the population of this species, which is very rarely seen, has been in decline in recent years. A biomass study conducted in Hawaii indicated that the islands have had a decrease in the numbers of Ulua.  

Giant Trevally Fun Facts

What do giant trevallies look like?

Giant trevally facts are fun to learn.

The giant trevally species, with its steep head profile is the largest member of the genus Caranx. They are about 5.5-6 ft (1.7-1.8 m) in length. It has robust scutes along the posterior portion of the lateral line. The giant trevally's upper jaw consists of strong canines with an inner band of smaller teeth. The lower jaw consists of a single row of conical giant trevally teeth. This fish is found in silvery-gray color but the males can be jet black after reaching sexual maturity. Their dorsal fin is divided into two parts, the former consisting of eight spines, and the latter consisting of one spine and 18-21 soft rays.

How cute are they?

Owing to their large size and length, giant trevally species look intimidating and scary, and cannot be considered cute.  

How do they communicate?

Fish generally communicate by various silent mechanisms like gesture and motion. Travellies are known to communicate in the same way.

How big is a giant trevally?

Owing to its large body and strength, this fish has little reason to fear any predators other than sharks and humans.  They grow up to 5.5-6 ft (1.7-1.8 m), which is almost twice the size of an average fish.

How fast can a giant trevally swim?

This fish's capacity to swim at a high speed is one of its most distinctive qualities. Giant trevally fish hunt in groups or alone, reaching speeds of up to 37.3 mph (60 kph) at their peak.

How much does a giant trevally weigh?

The giant trevally weighs about 132.3 lb (60 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names given to the male and female giant trevallies.

What would you call a baby giant trevally?

A baby giant trevally is called a fry.

What do they eat?

The giant trevally (Caranx ignobilis) is considered to be a powerful apex predator which hunts individually or in schools. Their prey includes cephalopods, crustaceans, and mollusks. The young giant trevally, found in the shallow coastal waters, feeds on juvenile anchovies, sardines, and other fish. Giant trevallies are one of the fastest predators in the world. One of the distinguishing features of this fish is its novel hunting strategies. This strong fish uses sharks to intimidate and ambush its prey and also shadow monk seals to prevent them from taking their prey. When they hunt in schools, it leads to an increase in their capture efficiency. Together they are able to attack and stun the schools of prey.  

Are they dangerous?

While the giant trevally is usually not dangerous to humans, it is important to keep an eye out for it when venturing out to the reefs. It is inadvisable to feed these large game fish anything as they can hurt you or inflict pain.    

Would they make a good pet?

It is not advisable to keep these large fish as pets. Their length and size make it very difficult to domesticate this species.

Did you know...

Known to the people of Hawaii as Ulua, the large fish was likened to a strong warrior and a fine man. Ulua was considered to be a God and commoners were not allowed to hunt them.

Ulua was also used in Hawaiian religious rites and also took the place of humans during human sacrifice when no one else was available. The special relationship between the people of the Hawaiian islands and the Ulua can also be seen in various Hawaiian islands proverbs which mention the Ulua as having warrior-like strength and qualities.

Do people eat giant trevally?

When it comes to eating, the smaller giant trevallies are the preferred choice for humans. They make dense, meaty,and pink steaks with subtle flavors. The flavors and taste of this fish are largely dependent on the different locations in which it is found. You can catch this fish in New Horizon. When preparing this fish for a dish, the skin and oily bloodline are taken out to give a better flavor. The giant trevally tends to get overcooked super quickly so it is better to keep an eye on it and not leave it on the heat for too long.

Do giant trevally attack humans?

The giant trevally usually does not attack humans, but one should be careful around them. When they are caught, they put up a good fight and try to break the fishing equipment. There have been several known cases of fishermen being hurt while trying to catch these fish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including salmon and fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our giant trevally coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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