Tuesday, November 10, 2009

piranha or caribe (Serrasalmus piraya)


"The most ferocious of all living creatures exists not on land, but in the fresh waters of South American rivers. It is the much-dreaded piranha or caribe, that is irresistibly attracted to blood. No animal, however big, or even a man attempting to ford a piranha-infested stream, can hope to survive if their skin is even slightly scratched. The piranha will instantly attack, and scores, even hundreds of its kind, will rush to the kill, literally slicing their victim to shreds in a matter of minutes. An authentic instance occurred in eastern Brazil, where a horse including its saddle was destroyed in five minutes. This butchery is easy for the killer because its teeth are serrated and sharp enough to cut through flesh and sinew at one snap. Even if a victim drags himself ashore, the piranha still clings, viciously biting to the last moment of its life. Anglers fishing for piranha, for the sake of its delicate flesh, have to use a specially strong hook and line. Ordinary tackle would be snapped like cotton."

--Animal World in Color, Volume 8 - Hunters: Birds, Fish, and Amphibians, edited by Maurice Burton, Childrens Press: Chicago, 1969

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