Scientists have found fossilized remains of a species of fish that might be the earliest type of flesh-eating fish ever in South Germany. The species must have lived 150million years ago and had sharp teeth like modern-day piranhas which they must have used to feed on fins and flesh of other fish. Other species were found close by which must have been victims of these ancient piranhas, said Dr. Bellwood. On analyzing the jaws, long pointed teeth were found on the outside of a bone which formed the mouth in addition to triangular teeth. Leading the study was Martina Kölbl-Ebert who said that discovery of such teeth in fish from the Jurassic era was shocking to the international group of scientists. Current Biology published the study which states that these fish must have come from the group called pycnodontids.
This study is incredible as it shows how dinosaurs and our modern world are intricately connected to each other. Remains of other fish were unearthed which had clearly been attacked by the ancient piranha-like species. Piranhas feed on fins or their bases and this is remarkable as fins have the ability to be regenerate. The study also pinpoints how important the study of fossils is.
Modern-day piranhas are found in freshwaters of South America, 20 other different species are found in the Amazon too. This is distinctive from what the fossils found as those belonged to fish found in the seas. Modern piranhas can be seen in few other places around the globe but they are assumed to be pets which were released there into waterways.
Piranhas in reality are not as dangerous as Hollywood portrays them to be although the black piranha reportedly has the biting power found in fish. They will eat anything if hungry and there also have been cases of human deaths from piranha attacks including a fatal attack on a 6-year-old Brazilian girl years ago. Even then piranhas are not such violent creatures with some even being vegetarian. Some eat more seeds than meat and some flesh-eating ones tend to feed on dead or dying creatures. Piranhas are eaten in certain places in South America.