Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Hameray's Critter Corner - Meet The Barracuda!

This is "B" Week for the Letter Buddies, so we decided to make Hameray's Critter Corner all about an animal that starts with the letter "B."  Which animals that start with the letter "B" do your students like to learn about?  Let us know in the comments section.

Beware the fearsome Barracuda! This creature is not so cuddly and has the huge teeth to prove it!

When hunting, Barracudas hide to surprise their prey and can reach speeds up to 27 mph for a short period of time when they rush out of their hidey-holes to grab a tasty fish.  They are attracted to the light that reflects off the scales of their natural prey, so if you're swimming in an area where Barracudas like to live, don't wear anything shiny, like a watch or bracelet.  Although they seldom attack people, they've been known to cause some serious damage when they do.

You may be surprised to learn that not all smaller fish end up as a snack for the Barracuda.  In this video by Robert Yin, you'll see long, thin, little fish called, Cleaner Wrasse.  Notice how the Barracuda stays perfectly still and lets them dart among his knife-like teeth, picking at parasites and little bits of dry skin.  This is what's called a "mutualist" relationship, where two creatures (who might have had a very different relationship had they not been useful to each other) work in harmony, each benefiting in a different way.   

 

To learn more about the Barracuda, check out the book, Spines, Stingers, and Teeth, by Elizabeth Cook, with photography by Robert Yin.

  

Read a sample book from the Underwater Encounters series here:

 

And, request a 2013 Hameray K-8 Catalog (click the image below):