Barracudas (genus Sphyraena)
… are carnivorous fishes of tropical and subtropical oceans. They are best known for their predatory habits and fearsome long teeth, which resemble those of a pirhana. Some five species are commonly encountered in North America; four in the Atlantic, and one in the Pacific.
The southeastern Great Barracuda (S. barracuda), shown here, is the largest and can grow up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long. The black spots along their sides are patterned uniquely on each fish and could be used as an identification marker, much like fluke pattern in whales. They are great sprinters, able to reach up to 25 mph (40 km/h) in short bursts. Despite their size and weaponry, barracudas rarely attack humans.
They are ambush predators, and most attacks involve something flashy or shiny on the human that the barracuda mistakes for prey, or other situations where the human isn’t the target. Barracudas are popular game fish, though larger ones can potentially cause ciguatera food poisoning.
photo by Kevin Bryant (mentalblock_DMD) on Flickr
(via: Peterson Field Guides)