The Saddled Bichir is the largest species of the Polypterus genus. They typically live in rivers and marshy areas around Africa. These fish are nocturnal, which is why they are kept in tanks with low lighting. Because of their poor vision, Saddled Bichirs rely on their sense of smell to hunt in the wild. As with other members of the Polypterus genus, the Saddled Bichir has the unique ability to survive out of the water.
The Polypterus Genus have been linked to a very ancient species dating back to the Triassic Period - more than 200 million years ago! Because of this, they are sometimes referred to as the most primitive fish alive today.