The Piranha Has a Cousin…with Human-Like Teeth!
By angelamontana

Posted: March 29, 2013

Well, this might look fake, but if you know what Pacu fish are, then you know this is not photoshopped, and it is a real fish!  These fish are cousins to Piranhas, except they are larger and have human-like teeth that they use to crack nuts and fruits.  According to Wikipedia, Pacu fish are also sold to home aquarium owners as “vegetarian” Piranhas.

The Wikipedia post on Pacu fish went on to state that:

While they are not aggressive carnivores like the piranha, their crushing jaw system, used primarily for eating seeds and nuts, can be hazardous. One toddler needed surgery after a pacu (misreported as a piranha) bit her finger at Edinburgh Butterfly and Insect World in Scotland. Commenting on the incident, Deep Sea World zoological manager Matthew Kane warned, “Pacus will eat anything, even children’s wiggling fingers.”

Additionally, the Examiner reported last year that two New Guinea fishermen had their testicles “seared off” by a 55-pound Pacu fish, and, as a result of blood loss, both of the anglers died.  That kind of puts a whole new meaning to using their teeth for cracking nuts.

Hooked IV: Vampire Fish NGC-US: Ep. Code 4255The same Examiner article also reminds people to keep in mind that if you do decide to add a Pacu fish to your home aquatic collection, and decide you no longer want it, it is illegal to introduce exotic fish into lakes.  So, do NOT just dump it off in the nearest body of water, as those who do will face criminal charges.

Overall, they are quite the oddity, and kind of cool to look at, but be aware of the potential dangers involved with the Pacu fish, as you should, especially, with all aquatic and land animals with teeth.