Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Issy Livingstone (9), of Temuka, points at the two red
belly piranhas in a glass tank at Otago Museum yesterday.
Two of the piranhas, on loan from a school of about 40 at the
National Aquarium in Napier, have been swimming in a tank at
Otago Museum since the first day of the school holidays.
Otago Museum living environments co-ordinator Murray McGuigan
said the museum had two more talks that debunked the myths
about the naturally shy fish, from the Amazonian Basin in
Hollywood films wrongly portrayed the fish as a fearsome
killer. Piranhas were scavengers and did not hunt in packs
and would skeletonise a bathing cattle beast only if starved,
The final two "Tropical horrors!" talks, which sorted fact
from fiction, were today and Sunday, he said.
The piranhas were fed a diet of meat and fish and had not
feasted on any of the small neon tetra fish that shared their
tank, so the piranhas had settled in their new surroundings,
Mr McGuigan said.
- Shawn McAvinue.