Luke B | May 20, 2013 | 0
Fish with Human Teeth and Taste for Testicles found in Michigan Lakes
You would be forgiven for thinking that this is a joke, but reputable sources are reporting on the fact that fish with human-like teeth have been found in some lakes in Michigan.
However, my first thought upon hearing such ridiculous things was an image of blinky the fish from the Simpsons – a freak of nature, somehow caused by man, probably with some radioactive substances. But that is not the case. The fish in question is a Pacu, closely related to the similarly toothy piranha. But whereas the piranha has pointy teeth ideal for stripping flesh for its mainly carnivorous diet, the Pacu has teeth better equipped for chewing on plants, fruit, and nuts… yes, both types of nuts.
The warning has been given for men to wear swimming shorts, as the dangling male testicles can look like the favourite food of the Pacu, or Bitey as I shall affectionately call him. Though there is little chance of coming into contact with these fish as they are quite rare, and they are unlikely to want to mingle with humans, if they get particularly hungry you could be in trouble. So it’s probably safer just to keep them shorts on sailor.
There will soon be a warning going out to those that are slightly down on their luck in the love department. Their mouth may look inviting, with their purdy teeth, but it’s ill-advised to put anything in their mouth as they have quite a powerful jaw.
It is likely that the pacu fish were originally pets and released into the wild when they began to grow larger than expected. The Pacu can grow up to 3ft and weigh around 25kgs.
But Michigans Department of Natural Resources (DNR) releasing former pets into the wild ‘is almost never humane’.
The problem with pets released into the wild from confined and artificial environments are that the animals are ‘poorly equipped to fend off predators and may be unable to successfully forage for food or find shelter,’ said Nick Popoff, manager at the DNR’s Aquatic Species and Regulatory Affairs Unit.
‘Those that do succeed in the wild can spread exotic diseases to native animals. In the worse case scenario, released animals can thrive and reproduce, upsetting natural ecosystems to the degree that these former pets become invasive species.’ Again I have a flashback to The Simpsons where Bart smuggles a koala home from Australia or a frog to Austrailia… I forget.
Basically, I wouldn’t go commando if I were you.
The rumours of their ball biting tendencies are probably exaggerated, but I wouldn’t want to be the one to personally test the theory. Tese rumours may well originate from Papua New Guinea, where they are respectfully called ‘Ball Cutters’. Consider yourself warned.