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This post is also available in (Post também disponível em): Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

Com informações do Brazilian Times

In addition to Burmese snakes, the next Florida invader may be a 3-meter-long fish that can jump out of the water and eat small mammals: the Pirarucu, a predator of the Amazon River that can weigh hundreds of kilos. “I can’t imagine it being good for our ecosystem”, Josh Constantine, a chartered fishing captain, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper.

While Florida continues to fight a scourge caused by Asian snakes, a dead pirarucu was recently spotted in Cape Coral’s Jaycee Park, on the banks of the Caloosahatchee River, which runs from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico, said Sun Sentinel.

Pirarucu is one of the largest predatory fish in the world, with scales as impenetrable as armor, the newspaper said. And it’s an avid breeder, producing hundreds of thousands of eggs during its lifetime. If it gains space, as the invading lionfish did in Florida, it could consume local commercial fishery stocks, experts warn.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) confirmed the appearance of the pirarucu, but insisted that it’s, well, a fluke. “There’s no evidence that the pirarucu has reproduced in the nature of Florida,” the FWC told Sentinel.

At least not yet, but we should all watch and wait, warned Dr. Katherine Galloway, a biologist at Nicholls State University.

The pirarucu comes from the Amazon and residents are confused about how it got to Florida. This species that appeared in Cape Coral was large enough to be reproductively active, so “there are probably more in Florida”, she told the newspaper.