- Pacu serves as the collective term for any of several related species of carnivorous freshwater fish. These astonishing looking creatures bear a close relationship to the piranha.
- The primary physical differences appear in dentition and sheer size. The Pacu remains renowned for its extraordinarily unique teeth.
- Unlike its genetic cousin, the piranha, its teeth develop as rather square and flat, much like those displayed by a human being.
- The terrifying looking fish also grows to a much greater size than its much smaller cousin the piranha, making it far more dangerous-seeming.
- Despite its rather terrifying appearance, the species poses no threat to humans, due to the specific nature of its dietary habits.
Pacu Physical Description
In general terms, except for the rather astonishing dentition and sheer size, the Pacu bears a strong resemblance to the better-known piranha.
This remarkable fish commonly attains a length of as much as 3 ft (0.9 m). In addition, its weight sometimes reaches as much as 55 lb (25 kg).
As the common name applies to several different species, coloring varies between the species. However, colors such as gray, silver, red, and black predominate.
Pacu Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The Pacu thrives in the majority of streams and rivers in the Orinoco Basin and the Amazon Basin. There, it comprises a portion of the highly diverse fauna.
This South American fish also appears to be quite popular in large aquariums. This led to a potentially serious environmental hazard, however. When it outgrows its tanks, many individuals simply dump them into the local waterways.
Given its voraciousness, it often becomes highly invasive.
Due to this dumping, individual specimens have been caught in the wild in such diverse locations as Scandinavia, Sweden, and even in the river Seine, in Paris, on August 30, 2013.
Despite its fearsome appearance, the creature primarily feeds on a wide variety of plant material, and not on animal flesh.
In its native territory range, the species remains commonly farmed and fished.