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Pacu (Portuguese pronunciation: [paˈku]) is a common name used in the aquarium trade to refer to several common species of omnivorous South American freshwater fish that are related to the piranha. Pacu and piranha do not have similar teeth, the main difference being jaw alignment; piranha have pointed, razor-sharp teeth in a pronounced underbite, whereas pacu have squarer, straighter teeth, like a human, and a less severe underbite, or a slight overbite. Additionally, full-grown pacu are much larger than piranha, reaching up to 0.9 m (3 feet) and 25 kg (55 pounds) in the wild.
Pacu is a term of Brazilian Indian origin. When the large fish of the Colossoma genus entered the aquarium trade in the U.S. and other countries, they were erroneously labeled pacu. In the Amazon, the term pacu is generally reserved to smaller and medium sized fish in the Metynnis, Mylossoma, Mylesinus and Myleus genera. The Colossoma macropomum fish are known as tambaqui, whereas Piaractus brachypomus is known as pirapitinga.
Spotted on Mar 11, 2015
Submitted on Mar 11, 2015