Hardy, greenish brown fish (Cyprinus carpio, family Cyprinidae) native to Asia but introduced into Europe, North America, and elsewhere. Large-scaled, with two barbels (fleshy, whiskerlike feelers) on each side of its upper jaw, the carp lives alone or in small schools in quiet, weedy, mud-bottomed ponds, lakes, and rivers. An omnivore, it often stirs up sediment while rooting about for food, adversely affecting many plants and animals. Carp grow to an average length of about 14 in. (35 cm); some grow to 40 in. (100 cm) and 49 lbs (22 kg). In captivity they may live more than 40 years.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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