Monday, July 2, 2007

Piranhas all bark and no bite

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Rather than aggressive killers, UK research shows piranhas are omnivorous scavengers, eating mainly fish, plants and insects.

"Previously it was thought piranhas shoaled as it enabled them to form a cooperative hunting group. However, we have found that it is primarily a defensive behaviour," Anne Magurran, of Scotland's University of St Andrews, said.

Piranhas face constant attack from predators including river dolphins, caiman - a relative of the crocodile - and bigger fish. "Their cautious behaviour is crucial to avoid being eaten," Magurran added.

Source : The Daily Telegraph




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