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Barracuda




The Barracuda is a large fish! It can grow to be over 5 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. Most barracudas are bluish-gray on their backs with silvery sides and a whitish belly. Adults will also have dark spots and stripes on their sides, near the front and side fins. They have a slender body that is round in the middle. The top of the head between the eyes is nearly flat and the lower jaw sticks out past the rest of the head. A great barracuda has a large mouth with two sets of triangular, razor-sharp teeth. These teeth are flat on one side and pointed on the other, allowing the fish to crush and rip the fish it eats.

Barracudas are usually found in warm, tropical regions including the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. They tend to stay close to coral reefs and near-shore areas with plenty of seagrass. They mainly eat other fish such as mullets, anchovies, and groupers. The barracuda hunts during the day, using its sharp eyes to find its prey and long, sharp teeth to rip apart larger targets. It is one of the strongest and fastest fish in the world; few other fish can escape its grasp.

Barracudas generally like to live alone, although sometimes they will form small groups. They breed in the spring, moving to deeper water far from shore to mate and lay eggs. The female will release her fertilized eggs into open waters and let them float on the currents. Once they hatch, the larvae may be anywhere and must fend for themselves. By 2 years, the young are fully grown and can live up to 14 years.



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