The barracuda is a fearless marine fish swimming in the world's tropical and subtropical oceans. It is known for their fierceness and 'ambush' hunting - they lie in wait and catch the prey by surprise.
The barracuda is hunted as game and for food; the Pacific and the California barracudas, which spend the winter off the shore of Mexico, are good food sources. Large barracudas will often travel alone while the smaller ones and will travel in schools of even thousands of fish.
Barracudas have long, thin bodies whose colors fade from dark on top to a very pale shade on bottom. They have a large mouth, with tiny dagger-like teeth jutting out from the lower jaw, giving it the nickname "tiger of the sea". The barracuda has two separate dorsal fins with a forked tail fin. It has no eyelids and are slow-moving when asleep.
Barracudas caught in the tropical waters can be poisonous and can cause a type of food poisoning in humans called "Ciguatera". This happens because the barracuda feeds on fish that in turn feed on algae containing the toxin ciguatoxin. The giant barracudas, the Indo-Malaysian barracudas and the great barracudas are the ones who are likely to be toxic.
The barracuda typically moves quickly through coral reefs in search of food. It has a huge appetite and makes use of its acute eyesight to hunt. A barracuda can be lazily drifting and suddenly shoot out to catch its next meal at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. Mullets, anchovies, grunts, groupers, snapper, bream and even young barracudas are some of the small fish the barracudas are likely to eat. Barracudas will sometimes hunt in a group by herding small fish into shallow waters. They will typically strike anything that moves.