Upper Cretaceous – Recent
They are called catfish because their barbels look like the whiskers of a cat. They are very diverse. The heaviest is the Mekong giant catfish, up to 350 kg (770 lb). The longest is the wels catfish, up to 4 m (13 ft). There are also detrivores in the group. There are some tiny parasitic catfish called candiru. Some catfish are grown for food, in fish farms. Some catfish can be kept in aquaria.
Most catfish do not harm people, but some of them can cause problems. It is said that the candiru can enter the human urethra, where they stay as parasites. In normal life they are parasites on fish gills.