Whilst channel-hopping last night, I watched about ten minutes of a wildlife programme that was all about river monsters... it was called River Monsters...
The piranha (Latin name sharpus toothicus) is pretty much a house-hold name; they have a reputation for hunting in numbers and their
ferocious ability to strip flesh from prey in literally seconds. However I read that there has been recent research suggesting that piranhas are essentially timid creatures that stick together for protection from larger predators... the researcher’s skeleton is now on view at an exhibition entitled “Mistakes You Only Make Once...”
But that’s all by the by... the subject of this short blog is another piscine resident of the Amazon, a particularly nasty little catfish called the Candiru Asu (pictured above).
No more than six inches in length, this fish uses its circular mouth and razor-sharp gnashers to literally bite a bullet-shaped hole through flesh. The Cadiru Asu then enters the animal in question, followed by plenty of its mates, and basically eats the organs from the inside. Human corpses have been found with up to one hundred of these creatures inside, most of which were waiting patiently for the sweet trolley and some scientists and coroners have concluded that victims may even have been alive when an attack took place... not a pleasant way to go...
The documentary explored what was thought to be an urban myth that one of these fish had entered a man’s body via his... well on the basis he was urinating in the river at the time I’m assuming you can guess...
Only the presenter met the bloke to whom this had really happened... actual film of the operation to extract the fish (I was expecting a clip from Free Willy) was shown before the man was then introduced to the offending fish – now thankfully preserved in alcohol – and asked if he wanted to hold it!
Er... let me think... that’ll be a “no”...
Next time I’ve got the remote in my hand, I think I’ll stick with The One Show...
All my own work... almost.