Myth busting piranhas (not in 3D)

I have a couple friends who love B movies, gorier the better. So unsurprisingly they saw PIRANHA 3D and couldn’t stop talking about it (spoiler alert: dismembered male member flying at your face…in 3D). In case you were wondering, James Cameron hated it. Apropos, the National Geographic blog “dislike films that vilify animals—even a species whose dagger teeth shear live things to shreds” and clears up some common misconceptions about these stuff of nightmares creatures.

Hunting isn’t typically their thing. Though reputed as fierce predators, most piranhas timidly scavenge. They’re the vultures of the Amazon, cleaning up the fleshy messes. They are also omnivorous, eating seeds and plants as well as meat.

They’re good parents—at least initially. A mom may lay 600 eggs at once, dad promptly fertilizes them, and both parents guard the brood once it hatches. (Later, they might eat some of their young. But let’s not focus on the negative.)