The Nile River and its adjacent lakes are home to over 100 fish species, including perch, catfish and tilapia. Tilapia and perch are popular food fish with rapid reproductive cycles. Nile catfish live at the bottom of the river and are also edible, but they are unpopular in many cultures because they eat dead and dying fish and other material that sinks down to the riverbed.
Nile perch are aggressive predators. Adult specimens are silver with a thin blue stripe on both sides. They are often over 5 feet long and weigh more than 300 pounds. These feisty fish are popular among sports anglers and are an important component of the tourism industry in and around the Nile basin.
Silver cyprinids are also abundant in the Nile's ecosystem. These ray-finned fish live in Lake Victoria, one of the Nile's largest and most important sources. Cyprinids are nocturnal and attracted to luminescent lures, especially on cloudy or moonless nights. These fish are one of the most important protein sources for humans in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya.
Many other animals also live in the Nile and along its shores. These include hippopotamuses and rhinoceroses. Hippos are especially fearsome because of their extreme aggression toward humans, remarkable running speed and immensely powerful jaws.