A piranha on the Essequibo River in Guyana. Photo by: Tiffany Roufs.
Few fish have a more fearsome reputation than the piranha. Yet recent research has shown that attacks on humans are rare and often accidental, though they do eat their prey alive and are capable of stripping a cattle carcass bare (though it doesn’t happen instantaneously). The most aggressive piranha is the red-bellied piranha, (Pygocentrus nattereri).
The piranha is not a specific species, but a grouping of similar carnivorous fish that inhabit rivers and lakes in South America. New species continue to be described.
Piranhas are perhaps more imperiled by humans than vice-versa, as they are considered good eating in parts of the Amazon.
For more photos from Guyana.