7 Honest Difference Between Pacu and Piranha (With Table)

Pacu and piranha are two types of freshwater fish that live mainly in the Amazon River and other rivers in South America. The two are related and they are easily confused. Pacu mainly feeds on aquatic vegetation but occasionally feeds on snails and insects. Piranha mainly feeds on small animals, snails, and plants.

So, what is the difference between pacu and piranha? A pacu is mainly herbivore while piranha is mainly omnivore.

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Comparison Table (Pacu vs Piranha)

Characteristics Pacu Piranha
Meaning Refers to a deep-bodied herbivore freshwater fish native to South America. Refers to a deep-bodied South American freshwater fish that typically lives in shoals and has very sharp teeth used to tear flesh from prey.
Size Grows up to 28 inches and can weigh up to 50 pounds. Grows up to 17 inches and can weigh up to 7.5 pounds.
Shape of teeth It has short, blunt, and human-like teeth. Has small, triangular, and razor-like teeth.
Mode of nutrition Mainly herbivore. Mainly omnivore.
What they feed on It feeds on aquatic plants, fruits, and seeds that fall in the water. It feeds on small animals, snails, plants, and fruits.
Hatching process It allows the eggs to hatch on their own. It sticks close to the eggs until they hatch.
Behavior Tend to live singly and are territorial. Live in groups.
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What is Pacu?

 

Pacu is a deep-bodied herbivore that lives in fresh water and mainly found in the Amazon River and other rivers in South America. It is related to piranha only that it is peaceful compared to the piranha. They have short and blunt teeth that resemble human teeth. This makes them able to crush seeds and nuts.

They are large in size when compared to the piranha. They grow up to 28 inches and can weigh up to 50 pounds. Due to the shape of their teeth, they are only able to feed on plant materials hence they are herbivores.

They live singly and territorial. They do not live in groups. After the females have laid eggs, they live the eggs to hatch on their own.

What is Piranha?

Piranha is a deep-bodied freshwater fish that lives in shoals and has very sharp teeth that are used to tear flesh from prey. It lives in the rivers of North America. Its teeth are small and triangular in shape, and they are powerful, and this enables them to tear the flesh from their prey.

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They feed on both animal and plant matter hence they are omnivores. They have a reputation for feeding frenzies. Their aggressive behavior is mainly observed under their starvation conditions. They do care for their eggs until they hatch, unlike the pacu.

They are small in body size as compared to pacu as they only grow up to 17 inches and can weigh up to 7.5 pounds. They live in shoals.

Main Differences between Pacu and Piranha

  1. Pacu is big in body size while piranha is comparatively small in body size.
  2. Pacu has short and blunt teeth that resemble human teeth while piranha has small, triangular, sharp teeth that are used for tearing flesh from the prey.
  3. Pacu eave their eggs to hatch on their own while piranha stays close to the eggs until they hatch.
  4. Pacu tends to live singly and territorial while piranha lives in shoals.
  5. Pacu is an herbivore; feeds on plants matter, seeds, and fruits that fall in the water while piranha is an omnivore; it feeds on small animals, snails, plants, and fruits.
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Similarities between Pacu and Piranha

  1. They both live in freshwater bodies.
  2. They both have a deep-bodied structure.
  3. They exhibit feeding frenzies under starvation conditions.
  4. They can both be omnivores.
  5. They only live in the Amazon River and other rivers in South America.

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In Conclusion

Both pacu and piranha are deep-bodied fish that mainly live in freshwater bodies. Pacu is related to piranha only that pacu is big in body size as compared to the piranha. The main features that make pacu different from piranha are; the anatomy of their teeth, mode of nutrition, and their behavior.

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