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a-z of creatures - Creature View

Pacu
Piaractus brachypomus

DID YOU KNOW: Pacu are found in South American rivers and lakes and are noticably distant relatives of Piranhas. Though their dentition are not as sharp as their piranha cousins, pacu have developed two rows of hard, flattened teeth used for crushing seeds and nuts.

With the rise of seasonal flood waters, their diet shifts almost exclusively to seeds and nuts from the trees and plants that line the river, making these fish an important vehicle of seed dispersal. This species is now becoming threatened by climate change, ranching, irresponsible farming practices and logging of their surrounding natural habitat.

Scientific Name: Piaractus brachypomus

Continent: South America

Habitats: Freshwater Amazon and Orinoco River basins

Size: Up to 90cm long and 25kg

Diet: Omnivorous

Food & feeding: Fish, insects, snails, plants, fruits and seeds

Conservation status: Data Deficient  

Pacu have become a problem in the UK due to their popularity in the home aquarium fish trade. Due to the shear shape and size that these fish can grow to, fish owners are left with a 'BIG' problem as a result of inadequate space or equipment.  

The 'Big Fish' campaign is an initiative set up by NAW (National Aquarium Workshop) and the BIAZA Aquarium Working Group, following research that indicated that over a period of just 4 months, 11 UK aquaria were asked to house 144 fish that had outgrown their owners' tanks.

The Big Fish Campaign aims to:

  • Encourage the public to research properly the fish species that they wish to own as pets
  • Overturn the notion that fish will never outgrow the size of their tanks
  • Reduce the sale of these species in pet stores to protect their welfare
  • Alleviate the problem of public aquaria being pressurised into accepting these big fish

 

Other creatures found in the Amazon display include:

Results 1-8 of 8 | Page 1

Creature Name Scientific Name
Piranha, Red-Bellied Serrasalmus nattereri View more...
Terrapins, Red Eared Trachemys scripta elegans View more...
Catfish, Ripsaw Oxydoras niger View more...
Catfish, Tiger Shovel-Nose Pseudoplatystoma fasciatum View more...
Catfish, Giraffe Auchenoglanis occidentalis View more...
Catfish, Redtail Phractocephalus hemioliopterus View more...
Otters, Oriental small clawed Aonyx cinerea View more...
Tortoise, Hingeback Kinixys homeana View more...

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