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Great Barracudas



Great Barracudas
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    mean-looking, weedy, undetected, profile, torpedo, offspring, spawn, barracuda, commercial, sub-tropical, traces, advantage, diver, reputation, toxin, among


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Great Barracudas
By Vickie Chao
  

1     When we swim in the ocean, there are many things that we need to keep an eye out for. If we were to draw up a list to include all the dangers we may encounter at sea, we should definitely include the great barracuda.
 
2     The great barracuda, as its name implies, is a big fish. It can grow to be more than 6 feet long and weigh nearly 100 pounds. Its body is streamlined and shaped like a torpedo. Its mouth is huge. Given that its lower jaw juts out beyond the upper one and both have very sharp teeth, the great barracuda is one mean-looking fish! When it is hungry, it looks around its surroundings. Once it finds a target, it waits patiently for it to let down its guard. At the moment that the prey least expects it, it makes its move by bursting to a sudden speed of about 30 miles per hour. Now with the distance between itself and the victim fast disappearing, the great barracuda opens its mouth wide and snatches the prey. Since everything happens so quickly, its victim probably dies before even realizing what had just transpired!
 
3     No doubt, speed is one main reason why this fish is an excellent hunter. But speed is not the only advantage it has. As it turns out, its narrow profile and silvery color also help this hunter in the sea. Thanks to these two disguises, the great barracuda is able to move about the oceans undetected. It eats mostly fish, and it is not afraid of taking on a target much bigger than itself. Though rare, the great barracuda has been known to attack humans! Many believe that such attacks usually happen because the hungry hunter either wants to steal fish from a diver's spear or is attracted to a shining object (like a knife) the diver carries. Its aggressive behavior earns this fish the nickname, "the tiger of the sea."

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Animal Themes
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Fish
             Fish


Oceans
             Oceans



Animals
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