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piranha, likewise called caribe or piraya, any of much more than 60 varieties of razor-toothed carnivorous fish of south American rivers and lakes, with a rather exaggerated call for ferocity. In movie such together Piranha (1978), the piranha has actually been illustrated as a ravenous indiscriminate killer. Many species, however, room scavengers or feeding on tree material.
Most varieties of piranha never flourish larger 보다 60 centimeter (2 feet) long. Colours differ from silvery with orange undersides come almost completely black. These common fishes have actually deep bodies, saw-edged bellies, and also large, generally blunt top with strong jaws bearing sharp, triangular this that accomplish in a scissorlike bite.
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Piranhas variety from northern Argentina to Colombia, but they are most diverse in the Amazon River, whereby 20 different varieties are found. The most well known is the red-bellied piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri), with the the strongest jaws and sharpest this of all. Especially throughout low water, this species, i beg your pardon can prosper up come 50 centimeter (about 20 inches) in length, hunts in teams that can number much more than 100. Several teams can converge in a feeding frenzy if a huge animal is attacked, back this is rare. Red-bellied piranhas like prey that is just slightly bigger than us or smaller. Generally, a team of red-bellied piranhas spreads the end to look for prey. When located, the attacking scout signals the others. This is most likely done acoustically, together piranhas have wonderful hearing. Anyone in the team rushes in to take it a bite and also then swims far to make means for the others.
A red-bellied piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri) native the Amazon River.
The lobetoothed piranha (P. Denticulata), i beg your pardon is discovered primarily in the container of the Orinoco River and also the tributaries of the reduced Amazon, and the san Francisco piranha (P. Piraya), a varieties native come the mountain Francisco flow in Brazil, are also dangerous come humans. Most varieties of piranhas, however, never kill big animals, and piranha assaults on human being are rare. (See also Sidebar: Vegetarian Piranhas.) back piranhas room attracted to the smell of blood, most varieties scavenge an ext than lock kill. Part 12 types called wimple piranhas (genus Catoprion) survive exclusively on morsels nipped from the fins and also scales of various other fishes, which then swim cost-free to heal completely.
Ichthyologists regularly separate the carnivorous “true piranhas” native the vegetarian members the Serrasalminae. Typically, true piranhas are minimal to three varieties of genus Pygocentrus: P. Piraya, P. Nattereri, and also P. Cariba. Historically, however, other classifications have broadened the team to include four genera: Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus, Pygopristis, and also Serrasalmus, based greatly on the single row of sharp triangular this all members display. Still various other classifications include additional genera, such as Catoprion, or exclude, Pristobrycon since that team is not thought about by every ichthyologists to be monophyletic—that is, lower from a single common ancestor.
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