We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Tarpon?

By April S. Kenyon
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Tarpon is a fish, and a member of the Elopidae family. Magalop is the scientific name for this fish. These prehistoric fish are also known as tarpum, cuffum, silverfish, sabalo real, and silver king. There are two varieties of megalop: Megalops atlanticus and Megalops atlanticutarpus. Fossil research provides evidence that the tarpon has been swimming in the oceans of the world for centuries.

While very small at birth, a full grown tarpon can be anywhere from 5 to 8 feet (approximately 1.52 to 2.44 meters) in length, and weigh as much as 280 lbs. (approximately 127 kilograms). Tarpons are characterized by silver scales that cover the entire fish except for the head, distinct lateral lines along the body, and a bluish green color on the back. These enormous fish have a broad mouth and a protruding jaw. The large eyes are covered by a thick transparent skin referred to as adipose eyelids. The life expectancy of tarpons is approximately 55 to 60 years.

Megalops atlanticus can be found swimming along the western and eastern coasts of the Atlantic, in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. The other species, Megalops cyprinoides, are found along the coasts of eastern Africa and southeast Asia. This species may also be found in areas of Australia, Japan, and Tahiti. Both types can be discovered in either fresh or saltwater habitats. These hardy fish can survive a variety of conditions, including varying levels of pH, and waters with low oxygen content.

The unique air bladder of the tarpon allows it to gulp air at the surface and absorb the oxygen in order to survive in waters with low oxygen content. Tarpon are the only fish with this type of swim bladder. This unique feature is believed to be the primary way it breathes. If the fish cannot access the water’s surface to take in oxygen, it will die.

Tarpons are a bony fish that are not generally desirable as a meat source. They are, however, deemed by many to be a great game fish. Fishermen often consider the enormous size, strength, and general reputation of the fish to be a great prize. Many game fishermen fish for tarpon on a catch and release basis, meaning that the fish is generally returned to the waters after it has been caught. Some individuals, however, may select to have a tarpon stuffed and mounted to display as a trophy.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.