Monday, September 26, 2016

Jewel # 261 (Sept. 25, 2016)

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“And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord
of hosts, in that day when I 
make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

Beware of the Piranha!

“Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did He . . . in earth, 
in the seas, and all deep places.” 
(Psalm 135:6)

There is a particular kind of fish in some of the freshwater lakes and streams of South America that has perhaps frightened more people than the fiercest sharks; it is the piranha.  The fear of this fish is easy to understand, because so many true stories have been told about large animals and people being attacked  and eaten by a large school  of these bloodthirsty fish.  Although they are only 4 to 18 inches long, some scientists consider these fierce little fish to be more dangerous that sharks, due to their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. 

Piranhas have one of the strongest bites in bony fishes.  It’s not unusual for a school of of a thousand or more to attack as a group, using their razor-sharp  teeth to strip all flesh from an animal or a human being in minutes.  Sometimes one will sneak up on another fish, nipping off a fin or scale without otherwise attacking it.  The fin soon grows back, and no serious damage has been done.

There are about 30 species of piranhas, but one thing they all have is razor sharp teeth.  These teeth are quickly replaced when the old ones become dull or damaged.  Piranhas can open and close their toothy jaws faster than the blink of an eye.  Some closely related species eat plants, nuts, fruits, lizards, frogs and snakes.

One species, the red-bellied piranha, is only about 7 inches  long but is well equipped for its size with razor-sharp teeth in a thick skull.  It is actually brownish purple on its back, but it has a bright red stomach.  While all are fierce looking, some are noted for their beauty, and the red-bellied is among these.  Another is covered with scales that are olive flecked with gold; others are deep purple.

Their young hatch from eggs laid in nests prepared by both the male and the female.  Once the female has deposited her eggs, the male quickly takes over, guarding them and not letting his mate or any other creature even approach until they have hatched.

Some natives catch and eat piranhas as part of their daily food supply, in addition to selling quantities in fish markets.  They apparently make a tasty meal.

These unusual fish are just another example of the millions of creatures living in water which the Creator took a delight in placing there.  When we consider His power, wisdom and love to boys and girls all over the earth, we all should respond to the Bible verse which tells us to “remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” (Ecclesiastes12:1).   

No one is ever too old to remember our Creator, and no one is ever too young or too old to accept Him as his or her Lord and Saviour.

Love you all  - Grandpa

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