Finding Nemo fan? Then, you probably have some friction with barracudas since it has brutally killed Coral, Nemo’s mom, and almost destroyed Nemo. Now, you want to know whether barracudas are so ruthless in real life as well.
In reality, barracudas don’t eat clownfish. Barracudas are basically optimistic feeders who prefer their prey to fall for their trap. But clownfish are in a safe zone from such a trap. Also, barracudas don’t have any interest in eating fish eggs.
If you are interested in finding justice for Nemo’s mom, you should learn about the truth about her killer, right? Guess what? In this article, we are going to do just that.
Do Barracudas Eat Clownfish?
Contrary to popular belief, barracudas don’t eat clownfish or their eggs. It is an in-general observation that depends on the situation. The case is not that barracudas hate the taste or texture of clownfish or they do not have the pallet for clownfish. Rather, into the deep, the territorial living arrangement in such a way that clownfish don’t become suitable prey.
Therefore, you will find some examples where barracudas have devoured clownfish. Even though it is really rare, however, fate may push them towards each other. If you keep both barracudas and clownfish in the same tank (talking about public aquariums, you can’t keep barracuda in a home setup), barracudas may attack the fish. Barracuda, in nature, are really ferocious and don’t go soft on their prey. But due to the living arrangement in the ocean, they both don’t cross each other.
Read More: Best Tank Mates For Clownfish
Why Don’t Barracudas Eat Clownfish?
I am not saying that barracuda doesn’t eat clownfish out of benevolence. They are extremely ferocious and belligerent in nature. They are imprinted with everything that is required to become a predator. So, why barracudas don’t eat clownfish? Let’s find out.
Barracudas are quite larger fish themselves; some species even exceed 3 meters when they become adults. With such a bulky outlook, they also have sharp teeth, strong jaw, and attacking bodies. For that advantage, their prey also is larger in size, generally. Barracudas are called Tiger of the sea due to their sharp teeth.
Due to this advantage, barracudas target larger fish in the ocean. They pierce the prey body and divide them in half. They also prefer schooling fish that swim around in the deep ocean together.
Clownfish are 4-5 inches in size. They are not fulfilling or appetizing for barracudas. Since clownfish do not roam around in bulk, they are not suitable prey for a barracuda.
In the deep ocean, there are some invisible layers or depth, like an apartment building, that decides what species of fish will live where. Since the water parameters are different in each layer, particular fish prefer to stay in their suitable range for utmost comfort. Barracudas are ferocious, large, and predatory fish. They live 325 ft. underwater, which is known as deep or open waters.
Clownfish, on the flip side, live in shallow water which is predominantly 3-39.5 ft. in length. Clownfish live in an anemone of coral reefs. Due to their vulnerable bodies, they prefer to spend their lives inside a host body to protect themselves and seek shelter beneath the coral reefs often. Such differences in height are the basic reason why barracudas hardly eat clownfish.
An interesting fact about barracudas is that their eyesight is really poor and cloudy. That is why they are attracted to shiny, slivery fishes and objects. Their attention is drawn to reflective surfaces. Clownfish is a very vibrant and colorful creation. They are not silver, shiny, or reflective. Due to such inconvenience, you will never find a barracuda near clownfish.
Barracudas are nocturnal predators, meaning they only hunt during nighttime. Their strategy of hunting is known as the ‘Surprise tactic’. They tend to take the prey by surprise by attacking suddenly completely, making the prey defenseless.
On the other hand, clownfish are not nocturnal creatures. They rest in the coral reef at night. It is a matter of inconvenience for barracudas to travel to reef areas and hunt such bleak, small creatures from coral reefs.
Would Barracudas Attack Clownfish?
In the movie ‘Finding Nemo’, we see how ruthlessly a barracuda attacked Nemo’s mom and dad. But does that happen in real life? I am not saying barracudas don’t have some appetite for clownfish, or they just don’t match. Barracudas are carnivorous and definitely not picky eaters. But their living arrangement is so diverse and alternative that they hardly cross path.
But, what if, by chance, they cross paths? Well, a barracuda, spotting a clownfish, will definitely attack and devour. Barracudas are opportunistic predators, meaning they travel around the ocean to hunt for their next meal.
So, it is not absurd for barracudas to visit coral reef areas in search of food. If a clownfish falls within a barracuda’s radar, he will certainly be a victim of terrible attacks.
Do Barracudas Eat Clownfish Eggs?
Another thing that Finding Nemo got wrong. It wrongfully depicted that a barracuda is feeding on a clownfish egg when Nemo was a kid. Seriously! What does Disney Pixar have against barracudas? Barracuda is certainly a predator and quite a villainous character of the ocean. But eating clownfish eggs! That’s too far-fetched.
Contrary to what the movie showed, barracudas don’t eat any type of fish eggs. And certainly, they wouldn’t prefer clownfish as well. An average barracuda weighs 100 pounds and is almost 3 feet tall. On the contrary, a clownfish egg is 3-5mm long. Do you believe a barracuda will satiate their hunger from such a small amount of ration?
Barracudas follow a different strategy to seek food and hunt prey. They target the prey that is roaming around in the open area of their territory. But clownfish eggs are safely hidden inside the coral reef. As barracudas are quite large in size, it is a great inconvenience for them to look through the coral in search of such tiny, little eggs.
Related Article: Do Clownfish Eat Their Own Eggs?
What Fish Do Barracudas Eat?
Barracudas are carnivores, meaning they can and will eat anything, be it plant or meat. Their target is to catch medium to large-sized fish that they can easily break, tear apart, and chew. Barracudas are extremely fast in swimming, counting 35 mph on average. Also, they are adapted to change colors to camouflage and attack their prey.
So, their targets are slow-swimmer larger fishes that lurk around their territory or surroundings. But they also eat small fishes that they find in the area. Anchovies, Herrings, Mullets, Grunts, Groupes, and Jacks are some common fishes that they munch on. Also, shrimps, crabs, and invertebrates that come along the way enlist themselves as the prey of barracudas.
The most common prey of barracuda is Lionfish. The bright, shiny color and large outlook make a perfect meal for barracudas. Barracuda don’t rely on senses of smell or sound to prey on their targets. So, shiny fishes are the ideal option for barracudas. Even though barracudas are carnivores, they also eat plants. Seaweed and algae are the main two veg options for them.
Despite what Disney Pixar has spread through the world, a clownfish is safe from a barracuda. Due to the territorial difference and feeding preference, clownfish hardly fall under the radar of barracudas. So, both clownfish and clownfish eggs are safe and sound from an attack from barracuda.