Brave Adventures author Coyote Peterson recently shared his latest newsletter, this time he featured the red-bellied piranha for his animal spotlight- check it out.
|Hey Brave Crew! If you celebrate…MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE! We hope you are all staying safe and healthy for the holidays! We cannot believe Christmas Eve is already upon us and 2020 is over next week! This year truly flew by. If you haven’t already seen it, we’ve been posting some fun holiday content on our social media pages – be sure to follow @BraveWilderness on Instagram to see it all!|
TOMORROW we have an exciting holiday-centric video premiering on Coyote’s YouTube channel! Yes, you heard that correctly – Coyote has his own YouTube channel! Be sure to subscribe here so you can see the awesome content he has in the works. On tomorrow’s new episode, you’ll meet the 12 animals of Christmas! We’re featuring 12 of the cutest animals we’ve ever met in the episode, and you won’t want to miss it!
This year, we hit so many humbling milestones. In 2020 alone, we gained 2.5 million new YouTube Subscribers and totaled 764.8 million new views from a whopping 57.3 Million hours of content viewed! That is incredible and we cannot thank you all enough. We know 2020 was challenging in many ways, and we are so thankful that you have continued enjoying our content as much as ever. Here’s to many new exciting adventures in the coming year! Happy Holidays and see you all in 2021!
|Strength often relies on numbers in the natural world with many species existing in packs, aggregations, or groups to keep safe or obtain food. At around one foot long and weighing two pounds, a piranha does not appear overly menacing, but when several come together in a school, the results can be formidable.|
The most famous species is the red-bellied piranha, which is often portrayed in movies as the villains who devour an entire human body! Is this really true? Somewhat! There are an estimated 60 described piranha species found in the South American Amazon basin. Many of them are actually vegetarians eating aquatic plant matter, nuts, and fruits. The red-bellied piranha is considered opportunistic, actively hunting smaller fish or scavenging dead animals in the water. The teeth of red-bellied piranhas are serrated and blade-like, allowing the fish to efficiently tear flesh from a carcass. If a large carcass is found, the fish form a feeding frenzy. The frenzy is strategic in allowing all the fish a better grip. A feeding frenzy can strip away all flesh from a carcass.
Hunting strategies and diet will vary based on seasonal water patterns and clarity with piranhas relying on hearing, smell, and their lateral line to detect prey. Forming schools also allows for better reaction time to predators. Despite their tough reputation, piranhas are not at the top of the food chain. In fact, many apex predators eat piranhas, such as caiman, giant river otters, various wading birds, and larger fish. It pays to have lots of eyes around, and some research suggests that schooling in piranhas is primary utilized for this reason.
It is reported that every year 200 piranha attacks occur. These attacks are mere flesh wounds from mistaken identity and occur on fingers or feet. Often it is a male piranha defending a nest who nips a human that gets too close. Due to a human’s size, piranhas actually flee when a person enters the water, but if a person has sustained a large injury that is bleeding profusely, piranhas can potentially target the wound and begin a feeding frenzy, aiding in further blood loss. This extreme situation would pose a threat to a person, but otherwise, the piranha is a fish that should not be feared! Learn more about this fish by checking out our piranha video!
Snowy Owl Makes A Somewhat Rare Appearance At Alum Creek. Here’s Why It’s A Marvel. As a Florida native now living in Columbus, Ohio, I don’t particularly look forward to winter. As the days start to cool and winter approaches, all I can think about are the scaly animals I will not be able to find outside and have to face my fate of staying indoors. However, I have recently found some motivation to brave the cold and search for a true symbol of winter — the snowy owl. I have always enjoyed birds of prey, such as owls, hawks, eagles, and falcons. Luckily, many species migrate to different regions in the winter and remain active even during the colder months of the year.
The snowy owl, straight out of the famous Harry Potter stories, lives and breeds in the far north arctic region of the globe (circumpolar). Every year, some juveniles migrate south (the numbers can vary significantly with some years having what is called an “irruption” of owl migrants) due to fluctuations in prey abundance and breeding success. The owls sometimes end up in a few Midwest states, such as Ohio. The Cleveland / Lake Erie area tends to be a hotspot for the owls and individuals can often be seen near marinas, airports, and agricultural fields. The fun part is the community of birders that search for these owls and document locations on the “e-bird” sight, making it very easy for anyone to track where the owls are located for a potential sighting.
I have yet to see a snowy owl in the wild, and I am ready to put in some effort this season, braving the frigid cold, five-foot-deep snow, frostbite, and winter vortex tornadoes (this is how I picture winter), but I am sure that all would quickly fade away at the sight of one of these beautiful birds. – Mario
Click here to learn more about snow owls!
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Biologist Helps Place Starfish On Critically Endangered List
Wild Animals in a Wild World
Animal Stories for Kids: Coyote Peterson’s Brave Adventures: Wild Animals in a Wild World chronicles some of the wildest encounters Coyote Peterson has had over the course of his travels. The stories begin with his first snapping turtle catch as a kid and lead down a trail of incredible moments he and his camera crew have had while filming their Brave Wilderness shows. From a giant alligator that nearly caught Coyote in its bone crushing jaws, to an 800 pound Grizzly Bear that helped him teach the audience what to do and NOT do if you ever encounter one of these enormous predators in the wild, every tale is laced with fast paced action and daring adventure. With the presence of danger often looming for Coyote, each story reminds the reader that animals rule the wild places of this planet, and if we respect them from a safe distance, even the most frightening creatures are more likely to be afraid of us than we should ever be of them.