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How dangerous are piranha fish to humans?

Some of the most dangerous fish in the world arepiranhas (Pygocentrus nattereri). By themselves, they are small, but the many teeth in their mouth are fearsome. These predatory fish live in groups and often attack animals - during the hunt, they rely on their speed and surprise. Thanks to hunting in a flock and dexterity, they are able to feed not only on fish, but also on birds that have sat on the water. Fatal cases of piranha attacks on humans are unknown, but recently these aquatic predators severely disfigured the body of one of the Brazilian fishermen. As hard as it was to read, one part of the man's face was eaten away. And this is not the first time that piranhas have inflicted serious injuries on people. Let's talk about this in more detail.

Piranhas can be very dangerous even for humans, and there is evidence of this.

Interesting fact: the word "piranha" comes from the Guaranian language, which is common among some peoples of South America. It is derived from the words "pira" (fish) and "ania" - evil.

Who are piranhas?

Piranha's body length is about 15centimeters, and the maximum body weight is 3.9 kilograms. All piranhas have very large mouths with protruding teeth. They are wedge-shaped and can penetrate even thick skin. The teeth in both jaws have the same structure, but the lower set of teeth is bent backwards. This whole mechanism is set in motion by powerful muscles. Sharp teeth and developed physical strength are the main danger of piranhas.

Piranha's teeth are sharp as a knife

But piranhas are also dangerous because they do not attacktheir victims alone. They lead a gregarious lifestyle and are in search of food most of the time. Piranhas are rarely full - these creatures need a lot of meat to fill their stomachs. That is why they are only able to live in bodies of water with a lot of fish. Mostly they live only in the waters of South America, but sometimes they can even be seen at sea.

Piranhas hunt in packs

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, while huntingpiranhas rely on speed and surprise. Sometimes they follow potential prey from hiding and attack, inflicting painful bites. At the same time, there is no consistency in the attack process - each fish makes an independent decision where to bite. They prefer to swallow small fish without causing injury. They are afraid of large objects, because piranha attacks on people are rare. In most cases, this is just self-defense.

Catfish Megalechis thoracata help piranhas get rid of parasites

Interesting fact: piranhas never touch catfish of the species Megalechisthoracata, so that they can swim up to predators without any fear. Their immunity is due to the fact that they help piranhas get rid of parasites.

Piranha attack on man

Attacks on humans are rare, but they do occur.According to LADBible, one of the most recent piranha attacks on humans occurred in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. When the three friends went fishing, they were suddenly attacked by an aggressive flock of bees. The men rushed into the water, but one of them could not swim to the shore and drowned. Two survivors called firefighters for help, and when one of the rescuers was about to jump into the water, local residents warned of the presence of piranhas in the water. While sailing on a boat, firefighters found the body of a man 4 meters from the shore. After removing it from the water, people were horrified to find that pieces of flesh were torn out of the body, and one half of the face was completely disfigured.

Piranhas are unlikely to kill people, but they can easily cause serious injuries.

See also: Predatory piranha fish change teeth in whole blocks. But why?

Of course, the 30-year-old man was dead.Only researchers do not yet know what exactly caused his death. The most plausible version says that he drowned and was then eaten by piranhas. But at the moment it cannot be ruled out that he died from the bites of predatory fish. True, this version is less likely to be believed, because if the piranhas ate him alive, other fishermen would hear his screams. But everything was quiet, so the man was more likely to drown and only then was eaten by the fish.

A video that can convince you of the danger of piranhas

In the end, it turns out that piranhas, althoughattack people, are unlikely to cause their death. However, according to Newsweek, a 6-year-old girl, Adrila Muniz, was killed in a piranha attack in 2015. She was with her grandmother and several other children on the ship, but it suddenly capsized during a storm.

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Piranhas are not found in Russia, but sometimes the ownersaquariums release them even into our open reservoirs. Once in a foreign environment, they begin to upset the balance of animals in certain regions. In addition to them, in Russia you can come across other dangerous fish, which are known under the names marinka, akbalik and schizothorax. You can read more about it here.