Facts about Piranha!

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The life under the sea is a constant mystery and you can find the deadliest of creatures such as sting rays and sharks there along with some pretty harmless ones such as the innocent gold fish too. But what sets apart a deadly creature from an innocent one? Is it the size? Or the way the creature moves, which could be innocently deceptive. The thing is you can never tell. Piranhas are born predators, with nature equipping them with the most unique and deadly of weapons which makes them a dangerous force for the tiny crustaceans and other aquatic plants. Once the piranha matures a bit from the spawn and grows up to around 1.5 inches in size it begins to feed on the flesh and fins of the fish who dare to swim nearby them. When fully mature piranhas they move about in shoals and corner their prey in groups and then simply rip them apart.

1. Piranhas are impatient beings, they won’t  kill the prey first. They attack the living and simply start feeding on the prey.

2. There are about 20 known species of piranhas, with only 4-5 of them being predators. The specie Pygocentrus nattereri, more commonly known as the red bellied piranha are known to be the most ferocious of the lot.

3. Surprising as it may seem and totally opposite the reputation that precedes them some piranhas are herbivorous in nature and feed on plant matter and are in fact docile and completely harmless in nature.

4. Normally piranhas range from about 6-10 inches in length but some individuals have been reported to be around 24 inches long too. A unique features that these little beasts have got are replaceable teeth, once a tooth gets broken, a new tooth takes it place. How convenient, these piranhas don’t need to worry about falling short of hunting tools. The interesting thing however is that piranha replace their teeth in quarters instead of individually replacing them like the sharks do.

5. The tales of piranhas devouring entire animals were first spread by Theodore Roosevelt when he visited South America in 1913 and encountered several species of Piranhas. But the stories were actually exaggerations as the villagers had simply put on a show for him. By capturing several piranhas, keeping them without food for some time and then releasing these hungry fish into a pond and throwing in a dead cow.

6. Piranha Fossils found in South American rivers are reported to date back as far as 25 million years ago. The modern Genre of this fish how ever has only existed for about 1.8 million years.

7. The word ‘Piranha’ originates from the Brazilian language Tupi and translates to ‘tooth fish’. A very apt name indeed as razor sharp teeth are the best weapon a piranha has got.

8. Piranhas have quite a bite to them, recent reports have established that the red bellied piranha can put a force of about 72 pounds into their bite which is three to four times their normal weight. Talk about packing a punch!

9. The ferocity of piranha is such that they won’t hesitate to take a bite out of each other if they’re in a feeding frenzy. Some adult piranhas have been reported on eating their own kin. What happened to a mother’s love being the greatest power on earth, I guess the rule doesn’t apply to this species then

10. Piranhas have been equipped with sensors and can scent blood in water, so be careful not to cut a finger inside the sea. You might end up losing the whole hand if a piranha happens to be nearby.

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