Freaky Fish: The Pacu!

Pacu Feb 18 2015 _0002

In Papua New Guinea, there is a fish known as “the ball cutter”.

Pacu  are several common species of omnivorous South American freshwater fish that are related to the piranha.

Pacu and piranha have different teeth,however; while piranha have razor-sharp,pointed teeth and an underbite, pacu have flat, human-like or horse-like  teeth and an underbite.
A grown  pacu is much larger than a piranha, as well. When full grown, a pacu can be three feet long and weigh fifty-five pounds.

But about the name “ball cutter”.: In the rivers where these fish live, fishermen often go into the water to bathe.

The pacu eats nuts and seeds that fall from the trees and into the rivers. Many of these nuts are large and round. Pacu have very powerful jaws and teeth, because some of these nuts are quite hard to crack. And in muddy waters, where naked men are sloshing around,sometimes there are things that fish see in the murky depths that look quite a lot like their natural food. Usually by the time a pacu has swum up, taken a chomp and discovered, “oh, sorry, not what I thought it was”, it’s too late for the fishermen.

Another joking name for the pacu is the “Nutcracker Fish”.


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