An 11-year-old boy caught a scary fish in Oklahoma last weekend. She had big teeth, as you can see in the picture. It turned out to be a close relative of the piranha.
11-year-old Charlie caught a disturbing-looking fish from a pond in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) reported on Facebook. The specimen obtained by the boy is a species belonging to the piranha family (Serrasalmidae). In English it is called pacu. It resembles the piranha to which it is related.
However, pacu and piranha do not have similar teeth. Piranha teeth are pointed and razor-sharp, while pacu teeth are square, rounded, and straighter.
An alien species
“Pacu have been caught previously in several fisheries in Oklahoma. They are an alien species to these waters. Most likely, someone bought them as pets, and after they grew up in an aquarium, released them into a pond,” the ODWC explained in a post.
“This fish is terrifying,” one user wrote under the post.
Pacu live in the waters of the Amazon, Orinoco, Sao Francisco and Río de la Plata rivers. Despite being related to the piranha, known for their distinctive sharp teeth and murderous reputation, the pacu eat plant matter instead of meat.
These fish can reach over a meter in length and weigh up to 40 kilograms. “These fish are generally harmless to humans,” the ODWC points out. These fish have now become an invasive species in many areas of the US due to the damage they can cause to local ecosystems.
Main photo source: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC)