Piraíba (Brachyplatystoma filamentosum) is a skin fish of the family Pimelodidae, is the largest species of fish leather from South America and one of the largest in the world.
The body is round and long. The head is large, takes up about 1 / 4 the size of the length. The mouth is wide, with slightly larger than the maxillary jaw. The maxillary barbels are long, and its color is usually dark gray or bluish lead on the back and white belly. It reaches more than 3 meters and 200 kg. Individuals with up to 60 kg are known as small.
It occurs in the Amazon and Araguaia-Tocantins Basin, where they are found deep in places, wells, or backwaters, rapids and outputs confluence of great rivers. For several seasons, you can observe the Piraíba the channel of rivers and surface water, but are not captured. In the Amazon, the natives often catch this fish at the confluence of the rivers. They tied a rope in the canoe very strong and great hooks, baited with a fish of medium size and are awaiting the arrival of the fish, which, when hooked, can tow the boat for several miles. Depending on the strength and size of fish is necessary to cut the rope to the canoe does not capsize.
In his book through the Brazilian Wilderness, published in 1914, former president Theodore Roosevelt described the Piraíba catfish. “It is called piraiba-pronounced in four syllables,” he wrote. “While stationed at the small city of Itacoatiara, on the Amazon, at the mouth of the Madeira, the doctor had seen one of these monsters, which had been killed by the two men it had attacked. They were fishing in a canoe when it rose from the bottom and, raising itself half out of the water, lunged over the edge of the canoe at them, with open mouth.