For 17 years, Zeb Hogan, a biologist, has been searching for the world’s largest freshwater fish. On June 13, his team found it — a giant freshwater stingray, or Urogymnus polylepis.
The ray, hauled out of the murky waters of the Mekong River in Cambodia, measured 13 feet in length before it was returned to the river. And at 661 pounds, it was 15 pounds heavier than a Mekong giant catfish caught in Thailand in 2005. Dr. Hogan said he had previously established that freshwater fish as the largest ever caught.
While this species of giant stingray has an extremely dangerous venomous barb that can reach nearly a foot in length, they are not usually a threat to humans. More often, they wind up in the market as a source of cheap protein.