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The bowfin is a freshwater fish found in the Mississippi River drainage in sluggish waters, swamps and backwater pools. It is a voracious predator with a large mouth and sharp teeth. It preys mostly on other fish, but also has been known to consume birds, snakes and salamanders.
The bowfin is a primitive fish and has been referred to as a “living fossil”. Its swim bladder is connected to its esophagus so this fish can gulp air and survive in oxygen-poor water. It also has been known to survive out of water for as long as a day if its gills and body are kept wet.
Be sure to look for the bowfin in the overhead habitat in the River Scout gallery.