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Barracuda

Human Fear Of Barracudas

People who dive in tropical regions are often quite afraid of barracudas, fearing them even more than sharks. Often, divers in tropical waters report feeling as if there is "someone watching them" when they are submerged. With barracudas, this is probably the case. Barracudas are curious animals and commonly follow and watch divers, noticing any strange movements or colors. Unlike sharks, barracudas only attack their prey one time, usually with one massive bite.

Barracudas are not as dangerous as many people think. Unless they are provoked, they rarely attack. Barracuda attacks usually take place under certain circumstances, including: (1) when the water is very murky; (2) when a diver is carrying a shiny reflecting object, like jewelry; (3) when the barracuda is provoked; or (4) when a diver is carrying a wounded fish. Attacks can also be caused by excessive splashing or other irregular movements in the water, especially in murky conditions. Also, some people think that the likelihood of a barracuda attack depends on location. For instance, while the great barracuda seldom attacks humans in Hawaii, it is considered more dangerous in the West Indies.


Resources

Books

Grzimek, H. C. Bernard, ed. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1993.

Hauser, Hillary. Book of Fishes. New York: Pisces Books, 1992.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Wildlife. London: Grey Castle Press, 1991.

MacMillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: MacMillan Publishing, 1992.

Moyle, Peter B., Joseph Cech. Fishes: An Introduction to Ichthyology. 4th ed. New York: Prentice Hall, 1999.

Nelson, Joseph S. Fishes of the World. 3rd ed. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1994.

The New Larousse Encyclopedia of Animal Life. New York: Bonanza Books, 1987.

Whiteman, Kate. World Encyclopedia of Fish & Shellfish. New York: Lorenz Books, 2000.

Wilson, Josleen. The National Audubon Society Collection Nature Series, North American Fish. New York: Gramercy Books, 1991.


Kathryn Snavely

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Ballistic galvanometer to Big–bang theoryBarracuda - Predatory Behavior, The Great Barracuda (sphyraena Barracuda), The Pacific Barracuda, Human Fear Of Barracudas