The Ultimate Piranhas Eating Cows Quiz

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

The Ultimate Piranhas Eating Cows Quiz
Image: Denitsa Ivanova/EyeEm/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Piranhas have the image of vicious man-eating monsters. In reality, they prefer other fish over mammals and are mostly eight inches long. Take this quiz to learn about the circumstances when a school of piranha would eat a cow.
What ferocious fish did Theodore Roosevelt take an interest in?
piranha
Theodore Roosevelt took a special interest in piranha fish. He wrote about piranha in his book, "Through the Brazilian Wilderness."
shark
whale

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In the 1978 movie "Piranha", why are the piranhas released into a resort's river?
on purpose
by accident
The piranhas are released into the river by accident.
neither answer

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How big is a piranha?
maximum size is two feet
most are about eight inches
both answers
The maximum size of a piranha may be about two feet (60 cm), but most are about eight inches (20 cm) long.

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What fish is the most vicious of the piranha species?
Serrasalmus rhombeus
Pigocentrus naterreri
The Pigocentrus naterreri is the most vicious of the species.
Pristobrycon striolatus

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How would you describe the teeth of a piranha?
razors
Piranha have teeth like razors.
brushes
sandpaper

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The piranha jaw is designed for:
chomping
The piranha jaw is designed for chomping.
biting
nibbling

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How are a piranha's teeth spaced?
overlapping pattern
interlocking pattern
The teeth are spaced in an interlocking pattern, the better to chomp with.
tight vertical pattern

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Piranha do not ______ their prey.
chew
The piranha do not chew their prey, they chomp it.
chomp
devour

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What happens after piranha chomp down on a big bite of flesh?
no chewing
flesh goes to stomach
both answers
Piranha do not chew, so the big bite goes straight to its stomach.

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What causes the boiling-water effect in piranha infested water, often shown in movies featuring piranhas?
change positions very fast
Piranhas let everyone in the school get a big bite, so when they change positions, very fast, the water bubbles with their movement.
movement of the prey
neither answer

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Piranhas are the prey of what animals?
herons
caimans
both answers
Piranhas are the prey of herons and caimans.

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What is the mainstay of piranhas' diet?
dead animals
Mainly piranhas are scavengers, so they eat dead animals.
live animals
fruit

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Why can't you buy a piranha?
no availability
endangered species
illegal to import
Piranha are illegal to import, so don't plan on keeping one in your home aquarium.

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What animal do piranhas primarily eat?
fish
Piranhas eat fish, and occasionally will eat another piranha.
fruit
mammals

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Where do piranhas prefer to breed?
slowest-moving water
Piranhas prefer to breed in slow-moving water. An increase in dam building in South America has increased slow-moving waters and is thought to account for an increase in the piranha population.
fast-moving water
rapids

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Why may piranhas be found in unlikely places?
pet piranhas have been dumped
Anywhere but South America would be an unlikely place to find piranhas. One explanation is that "pet" piranhas have been dumped into waterways, after the owners discovered just how difficult they were to keep.
purposeful destruction of waterways
neither answer

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What may happen when piranhas are dumped in waterways outside of their natural habitat?
threaten the ecological balance
The addition of piranhas to these waterways may threaten the ecological balance.
increase the fish population
increase tourism

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What is the size of a typical school of piranha?
10
20
About 20 piranha make up a typically sized school, but it takes hundreds to eat a cow.
30

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When Roosevelt visited the Brazilian Amazon, what did he see that left him feeling disturbed?
strip a human
strip a cow
Roosevelt witnessed a school of piranhas strip a cow to the bone in a very short time, perhaps around one minute. It is thought that the piranhas he saw had been intentionally starved beforehand.
strip a monkey

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How long are the razor sharp teeth of piranhas?
one-quarter inch
The teeth are only about one-quarter inch (0.6 cm) long.
one-half inch
one inch

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You Got:
/20
Denitsa Ivanova/EyeEm/Getty Images

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