Chinese Paddlefish, Psephurus gladius (simplified Chinese: 白鲟; traditional Chinese: 白鱘; pinyin: báixún), also known as Chinese Swordfish, are among the largest freshwater fish. It is one of two extant paddlefish species, the other being the American Paddlefish (Polyodon spathula). It is also called "elephant fish" (象魚; xiàngyú) because its snout resembles an elephant trunk. It is recorded sometimes in Classical Chinese as wěi-fish (鮪). More poetically, it is sometimes referred to as the "Giant Panda of the Rivers", not because of any physical resemblance to a panda, but because of its rarity and protected status.
The Chinese Paddlefish is the People's Republic of China's first-level protected animal. Its belly is white and back and head gray. They live mostly in the middle or lower part of the Yangtze (Chang Jiang), occasionally in large lakes. They feed on other fish, as well as small amounts of crabs and crayfish. Paddlefish are sexually mature at age seven or eight, with a typical body length of 2 metres and a weight of 25 kilograms. The Chinese paddlefish is also known as the elephant fish, because its long snout resembles an elephant's trunk. The snouts contain sensors that help them locate the small fish and crustaceans they survive on. Prized for their rich, plentiful meat, the giant animals are said to have been commonly offered as gifts to the Chinese emperor during imperial times.