Then or now, Hollywood certainly hasn’t done the piranha any favors. But are these freshwater fish the vicious river monsters they’re made out to be? Not exactly.
Piranhas do indeed have sharp teeth, and many are carnivorous. But there’s a lot of diet variation among species—that’s one reason piranhas have proved hard to taxonomically classify. Piranhas are also hard to tell apart in terms of species, diet, coloration, teeth, and even geographic range. This lack of knowledge adds a bit of dark mystery to the creatures.
Sure, they're not cute and cuddly. But they may be misunderstood, and scientists are rewriting the piranha’s fearsome stereotype. Here are 14 fun facts about the freshwater fish:
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