Atlantic Tarpon

Atlantic Tarpon…

Megalops atlanticus
Megalops atlanticus by Citron / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Atlantic tarpons grow to about 4 to 8 feet (1.2 to 2.4 meters) long and are very active, with superb strength. When hooked, the tarpon leaps vigorously, which makes it a sought-after game fish. They have silvery bodies covered with large scales. Adult tarpons prey on crabs, shrimp and fish, and swallow them whole.

The tarpon can breathe with its swim bladder (which, in most other fish, is only there for buoyancy). Being able to rise to the surface and gulp oxygen not only gives them short bursts of energy, but enables the young and adults alike to survive in waters where oxygen is low and there are fewer predators.

Tarpons can tolerate a range of salt levels and temperatures. However, temperatures below 60° Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius) make them inactive, and below 40° Fahrenheit (4.4 Celsius) are fatal.

They pick warm and secluded areas to spawn. The sperm and the eggs are all released into the water — this is called “broadcast” spawning. Females release up to twelve million eggs at a time. Once fertilized, the eggs float on the water — this is the leptocephalus stage — looking like transparent ribbons, which makes them difficult for predators to spot. For nourishment, they absorb nutrients from the water through their skin. The tarpon then goes through the juvenile stage, remaining in shallow waters, and then finally becomes an adult.

Atlantic Tarpons (Silver Kings) are featured in the following book:
25 River Monsters

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about Atlantic Tarpons. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. The Silver King (Atlantic Tarpon) – The Beauty Beneath the Docks by dickdog75
  2. GIANT TARPON – Huge Tarpon Bites Kent’s Hand in Super Slow Motion! by dickdog75



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