Local angler Ron Rossi made a rare catch Sunday at Swedes Lake, New Jersey, while fishing with his family, ABC affiliate WPVI-TV first reported. Initially the father and son thought it was piranha, but when they saw it’s almost human like teeth, they could not understand what it was and started researching online.
They weren’t very far off with their guess about it being a piranha, it was it’s omnivore cousin called pacu.
Pacu’s are usually found in the Amazon River so it was a long way away from home.
Pacu uses its teeth mainly to crush nuts and fruits, but sometimes they also eat other fish and invertebrates. They usually eat floating fruits and nuts that drop from trees in the Amazon, and on a few occasions were reported to attack the testicles of male swimmers mistaking them to be floating nuts. This has earned them the name of “ball-cutter” after they castrated a couple of local fishermen in Papua New Guinea, reported by Amusing Planet.
While they are not aggressive carnivores like the piranha, their crushing jaw system can be hazardous. One toddler needed surgery after a pacu 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.
It’s not the first time a pacu has been found out of its native habitat.
Pacu is legal to own in United States and very often people enjoy keeping it as a pet because it is easy to raise, but what they are unaware of is that it can grow upto 4 feet long, too long for home aquariums. So what the fish owner’s usually end up doing is setting them loose in the ocean.
Beside the pacu fish the sheepshead fish also has human like teeth but a bit too many.