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Barracudas

Barracuda Fish Facts and Species Information

Taxonomy [Sphyraena] [Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Family: Sphyraenidae]

The Barracuda is a large pike-like saltwater fish which is broadly found in tropical and subtropical oceans.

It belongs to the ray-finned family which is notorious for being menacing and formidable fish.

The barracuda's elongated scale-covered body is stoutly compressed and lengthy. They can reach well over 2 meters in length and twelve inches in width.

The head of the barracuda fish is large and arrow-like. They have prominent different sized teeth fixed inside their jaw socket.

The teeth are razor sharp like the fangs of piranhas. They have two spinous dorsal fins which both comprise of webbed skin and horny spines (fin rays).

The lateral line in barracudas is distinguished and runs from their head to their tails and they have an exaggerated swim bladder.

The barracuda fish coloring is primarily a dark blue upper body and a chalky white belly with silvery sides and yellowish fins. Their coloration varies relative to their species and some barracudas are more distinguished by dark spots or chevron cross-bars.

Barracuda [Sphyraena] is a large pike-like torpedo shaped fish BARRACUDAS BEHAVIOUR

Barracudas rely on their speed and the element of surprise to catch their prey.

They are opportunistic aggressors and voracious predatory fish. They can accelerate to speeds of 40 km/h when they attack.

Adult barracuda display a propensity for solitary hunting whereas the juvenile barracuda tend to congregate in schools. Barracudas principally feed on fish quite often killing and consuming bigger fish than themselves.

BARRACUDA ATTACKS

Do barracuda fish attack people? They do have a reputation for being dangerous - like sharks. There have been severe barracuda attacks, especially towards swimmers and snorkelers.

Perhaps the giant fish follows swimmers mistaking humans as predatory marine animals and thinking that there may be leftover food. It is well documented that barracudas are also attracted to anything that glints or shines in the water.

Theorists suggest that the barracuda's scavenger characteristics may be the reason that they bite humans. Possibly the most likely reason could be poor underwater visibility.

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