Feb. 15, 2023



In this episode we talk about the Barracuda! Relax, unwind, and join me off the Brazilian coast, where we learn all about this slender sea-torpedo.


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hello everyone welcome back to relax with animal facts I am staff wharf and today I am going to be learning with you about our furry scaly or possibly even slimy friends and in today's case it is definitely going to be a scaly friend of ours because we are covering the %HESITATION so wonderful barracuda this is a very special listener episode dedicated to the NRO who wrote in and requested this fine creature I hope that you enjoy your very own episode for how to request an animal and get your very own episode along with all of the facts that are in this one that information is immediately available in the show notes with the description or you can wait until the end of the show in which I will go over all of that to support the show and help keep it running while at the same time getting exclusive episodes you can go to patrie on dot com slash relax with animal facts or you can click the link that is down in the description and now let us begin to wind down as we prepare for our journey as always I have three primary exhortations for each and everyone of you the first of which is to ensure you have your scuba gear on we are going to need to those wet suits for those goggles those oxygen tanks all of those things for where we are going today my second exhortation to you is to realize perhaps where you are carrying some tension now that's tension might be in the shoulders or in the legs in the arms regardless of where you carry your attention my encouragement to you is the same bring up your mind to something like Jello and to your best to impersonate that cello and when I mean do your best I mean to an Oscar award winning performance of an impersonation we do not need any of that attention where we are going so I simply encourage you to leave it to the side and by the third encouragement to you is to give your mind permission to wander and journey with me into the western Atlantic Ocean just off of Brazil with the barracuda resides you may notice that the water here is warmer than you might have expected that is because we are looking for a creature that prefers some of those tropical regions with warm water and plenty of food and we have the pleasure today of swimming around basically the ocean's version of America's city near the coast of Brazil there are miles and miles of coral reef sporting all different sorts of colors and all different sorts of residence as well and the only form of rent or mortgage debt these fish have to pay is that they keep their space clean but %HESITATION let's go over just some broader things regarding the barracuda now the name that I'm using for this creature barracuda is its common name but it has a scientific name that is S. for Raina this work like all other scientific names has Latin roots and it means hi like fish we'll see in a moment just how that is while we are here just off the coast of Brazil we could be in many other places as well this is because the barracuda is widely distributed all across the world so typically in those places with warm water they preferred those shallower coastal waters of less than about three hundred and thirty feet deep and so that will generally be areas like shorelines continental shelves and like today coral reefs today we are covering the barracuda in a broad brush meeting we are not going into the individual species but keep in mind that there are more than twenty Barracudas but the reference point in general is going to be the great barracuda the barracuda has a capacity to go very quickly and in short bursts we'll find how the use these capabilities to their advantage in just a moment but the barracuda also has a mouth that is full of sharp needle like teeth and given the fact that they are carnivores this makes for one serious predator in their scientific name which means a hike lake fish can be easily seen by looking on their exterior and now we have the pleasure of looking upon the barracuda and keep in mind that while today we have a special opportunity to come up nice and close if you were ever to do another scoop attorneys say outs in the Caribbean somewhere or in some other warmer waters going up very close to Barracudas is generally not a smart thing to do we'll learn why a little bit later but I just wanted to clarify that and so remember their scientific name that means pike like fish a pike is a slender sort of spear and as you can see these creatures have a very slender muscular and cylindrical body they are the animals version of a torpedo or rather I would say that the torpedo is a mechanical version of the barracuda simply stated the barracuda is built for speed they are extremely well suited to give in their environment and will be able to make quick work of their hunting excursions and so today while the main berikut over going to be interacting with is a great recruiter given the twenty different species that are referred to as Barracudas there can be large differences in aspects like sites the northern barracuda for example won't grow larger than about eighteen inches long while the great barracuda that we're looking at now can reach lengths of more than six feet as is usually the case the great variety of species will also have a great variety of differences among them the smaller barracuda this will generally hunt together while the larger barracuda will prefer to be solitary day looks something like a blend of corporation and white sometimes there is a blue color on top and basically all of this makes them camouflage into the environment around them perhaps not as deceiving a camouflaged as a chameleon for example but this will still give them an edge with certain pray that may not have the best eyesight now these critters have some very interesting coloration their sides will be this very shiny silver color while on top they will be sometimes a mixture but sometimes just one at a time gray white or blue and what this does is that any creature that is looking down upon them from above we'll have a really hard time making out the outline of this creature and so making it a lot easier for the barracuda to initiate an ambush this is not as deceptive a camouflage as say the chameleon but it certainly does the job their bellies are also white which makes them harder to see from below as well so from looking top to bottom creatures will see gray white or sometimes blue but when looking up towards the barracuda the weight of their belly will paint them into the whole picture of the C. making it very hard for them to distinguish the fearsome barracuda but though many Barracudas have something similar in terms of coloration they do have unique patterns on their body these unique patterns are comprised mainly of markings which the scientists can then use to monitor individuals these markings will depend on how the barracuda interacts with its environment with different circumstances and so it will be an indication as to individual identification the great barracuda can be about twenty four kilos which is around fifty three pounds while the smaller berikut is can be something like six kilograms which is about thirteen pounds and now let's see how the barracuda uses their bursts of speed and their slender bodies and sharp teeth to their advantage as we learned before the barracuda is a carnivore and so we'll skip the greens entirely and instead opt for other fish they will prey on a multitude of other fish both small and big and they generally hunt as ambush predators as an ambush predator they will not waste a lot of their energy proactively hunting but will rather wait and be opportunistic in that sense the barracuda can actually eat fish that are almost the size of them keep in mind that they are not eating things as a snake would eat them meaning taking the man whole but much like us they will take successive bites and can consume a large amount of food they won't exactly chew in the same way but will rather bite in quick succession meaning they will buy and by two gan and as their jaws clamped down they will shake their heads and with those razor sharp teeth split their prey this is a mechanism known as Rambo by eighteen and being able to break up their prey in this way is highly advantageous as it allows them to have a very large menu if they could only eat fish that will fit in the amounts in one go they would be much more limited than they are right now and so let's remember that they are considered aggressive ambush predators with the way to that is on their belly and the white gray or blue that is on the top of them they will lie in wait and in the sudden burst of speed snatch up their prey it is interesting to note that while the barracuda relies on camouflage and tricking the visual perception of other fish their own vision is very astute and these fish are so fast that the attack can be over before the victim even knows it's being hunted the barracuda has the ability to accelerate from zero to thirty six miles or fifty eight kilometers per hour in seconds so while we as people attempted to build machinery like cars that can go from zero to sixty in a certain amount of time the barracuda has been doing that before we even started but this sudden burst of speed allows them to quickly snatch up their meals not only before the animal figures out a way to escape but before they even figure out that the need to find a way to escape and once the barracuda has its prey in its jaws D. pray is not going anywhere their teeth are sharp and saying like something similar to that of the Parana and they're under bite in combination with a backwards facing teeth that prey is there to stay and when the barracuda is hunting as we learned before the hunt more by sight than anything else many predatory fish prefer to hunt with smell rather than sight but these creatures have flipped the script and this is one of the reasons why I don't recommend if you were to go out into another journey into some coastal waters to find berikut is that you would go all that close to them there are certain visual cues that stimulates the barracuda and to stimulate them to attack as well as we must remember that fish have scales that reflect light very well and so make them shiny so if human beings and to the water with the glittering objects that might be jewelry or watches or something like that this may cause certain curious berikut is to investigate and to to do a little bit more than investigate if they mistake these objects for food they will attack promptly and viciously so if we are in the water %HESITATION round these creatures we must make sure to remove any shiny objects things like jewelry and watches from our person and one interesting fact is that Barracudas are considered somewhat poisonous to human beings when I see someone I mean that they are considerably more harmful to ingest than other fish species this may be because the reef fish that the Barracudas eat themselves consume a lot of algae that contains high levels of a certain toxins and so ingesting Barracudas for the most part is not a good idea the barracuda like many other fish lay eggs instead of giving birth to live if young and so they will spawn these aches in large schools and after researching incubation period you will have a bunch of baby Barracudas swimming around there are a couple of nocturnal specialists among the Barracudas species that include species like the sawtooth barracuda and the yellow metal's barracuda who have special adaptations for night time hunting they have these extra large very highly sensitive highs that will allow them to look around in their environment and C. pray quite clearly even when there is little to no light the majority of other fish with normal to sub par vision we're going to have a hard time escaping and even identifying the barracuda especially since the Barracudas themselves have camouflaging characteristics and now let us move on to the name of the creature the barracuda what does it mean or where does it come from it is defined as a large river ratios fish of the West Indies in Florida and it was turned this around the sixteen seventies we get this word from another word Kucera which comes from American Spanish barracuda and this is perhaps from a carob word and so there is a bit of uncertainty here but there is also not too complicated history either now in season six we have started to name certain charities or foundations that surrounds the creatures that we cover but in the case of the barracuda because they are of least concern they have a wide range and huge populations there are currently no foundations that I could find that specifically address the species in the so let us move on to the review portion of the show which comes from M. coffee to %HESITATION who writes all the way from the United States of America and M. Coffey writes my favorite podcasts to fall asleep to I love that the content is engaging enough to stop my mind from wondering but still seething enough to put me to sleep I feel so much more relaxed and fall asleep much quicker listening to this podcast thank you M. coffee for taking the time to leave this very kind review I am so glad that it is your number one podcast to fall asleep to I believe I've said this before but it is a unique privilege of mine to be able to host a podcast in which making people fall asleep and keeping them awake are beneficial goals every one of you is different and seems to listen to the show in a different light I had someone recently right in and tell me that they listen to the show when they're working out or when they're exercising that was certainly a first but regardless I am very happy that the show can be of use to you personally %HESITATION coffee and I am very glad that you are part of what makes the podcast so special if you enjoy the show or the show helps you asshole the evening a review on apple podcasts or wherever you listen is one of the biggest ways that you can give back it's quick it makes the show better it allows for many more people to find the show in the first place and grows our animal podcast family and so if you enjoy the show I greatly encourage you to do so now if you want to have your very own podcast episode you can suggest an animal by going to relax with animal facts dot com and clicking on the animal request tab if you wish to reach out to me in any other context you can do so through the Instagram relax with animal facts or by sending an email to relax with animal facts at the G. mail dot com and if you would like to support the show while getting access to some exclusive content you can do so by going to patrie on dot com slash relax with animal facts or by going into the description and clicking on the patriarch link the facts that were used in this episode come from sea world dot org fact animal dot com National Geographic dot com and at him online dot com this episode would not have been possible without these facts and so I encourage you to explore those resources to your heart's content they're all in the description below what a wonderful critter we got to learn about today the barracuda is one of the most efficient hunters in the waters they are something like organic sports cars or organic submarines that can reach top speeds so quickly it always amazes me how animals can be so different from one another but can all instill a sense of amazement if you just know where to look I hope that you all have enjoyed this episode and I hope that you'll join me on the next podcast episode with the next animal take care