The Black Pacu (Colossoma macropomum) is a tropical freshwater fish in the Serrasalmidae family – it is a serrasalmid fish, meaning ‘serrated salmon family.’ It is also known as the Tambaqui and the Black-Finned Pacu. It is a characin fish, like the Tetra.
The Black Pacu is similar in shape to the Piranha because it is laterally compressed with large eyes and a slightly arched back. It has molar-like teeth, similar to human teeth (not sharp teeth like the Piranha). The lower part of its body is blackish, and the rest of its body is grey, yellowish, or olive. Its fins are black.
It has gills and takes in oxygen from the water. When there is not enough oxygen in the river or lake, it takes in oxygen from the air using its swim bladder.
It measures 110 centimetres (43 inches) in length.
The Black Pacu is native to South America in the tropical Amazon basin. It prefers freshwater flooded forests and rivers.
It eats plant seeds, fruit, and nuts that fall from the trees overhanging the rivers. It also eats insects, snails, shrimp, small fish, and algae.
It is mostly solitary, but it migrates in large schools.
The average lifespan of the Black Pacu is 40 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM