Marine Wildlife Encyclopedia
Great Barracuda Sphyraena barracuda
Barracuda are fast-moving predators with needle-sharp teeth and an undeserved reputation for ferocity. The great barracuda has a long, streamlined body with the second dorsal fin set far back near the tail. This fin arrangement, along with a large, powerful tail, allows it to stalk its prey and then accelerate forward at great speed. Large barracuda in frequently dived sites will often allow divers to approach closely. Very occasionally a lone fish may attack a diver if it mistakes a hand or shiny watch for a silvery fish. Eating even small amounts of barracuda can result in ciguatera poisoning, caused by toxins accumulated from its food.