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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #95849: Giant Candiru
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Animals | Find the word [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Animals (video) - Animals - Animals & insects - Animals and pictures - Animals - Vocabulary: animal noises/sounds - Wild animals - Birds II (Idioms)
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    Giant Candiru

    Giant candiru catfish

    Candiru (English and Portuguese) or candirú (Spanish), also known as cañero, toothpick fish, or vampire fish, are a number of genera of parasitic freshwater catfish in the family Trichomycteridae; all are native to the Amazon River. Although some candiru species have been known to grow to a size of 40 centimetres (16 in) in length, others are considerably smaller. These smaller species are known for an alleged tendency to invade and parasitise the human urethra; however, despite ethnological reports dating back to the late 19th century, the first documented case of the removal of a candiru from a human urethra did not occur until 1997, and even that incident has remained a matter of controversy.

    Candirus are small fish. Adults can grow to around 40 centimetres (16 in) with a rather small head and a belly that can appear distended, especially after a large blood meal. The body is translucent, making it quite difficult to spot in the turbid waters of its home. There are short sensory barbels around the head, together with short, backward pointing spines on the gill covers.

    Candirus (Vandellia) inhabit the Amazon and Orinoco rivers of lowland Amazonia, where they constitute part of the Neotropical fish fauna. Candirus are hematophagous and parasitize the gills of larger Amazonian fishes, especially catfishes of the family Pimelodidae (Siluriformes).  

    Le candiru (Vandellia) est un poisson d'Amazonie, dont on recense une douzaine d'espèces, parasitaires ou nécrophages. Parmi elle, (Vandellia cirrhosis), également appelé poisson vampire du Brésilparasite de la famille Trichomycteridae est connu pour remonter les flux d'urine et pour se loger dans l'urètre. Ce type de parasitage relève toutefois de l'accidentel. Sa technique consiste à se loger dans sa victime, par les branchies, et à déployer ses piques afin de rester accroché et à se nourrir du sang et de la chair de sa victime.

    Candiru est énormément craint par les populations locales qui se méfient plus de lui que des piranhas. Sa dangerosité pour l'homme serait toutefois exagérée. Le candiru est décrit comme attiré par le sang et l'urine bien que les études scientifiques montrent que ce poisson chasse à vue. Il parasite généralement les autres poissons plus gros que lui, comme le poisson-chat, mais se montre également capable de dépecer un cadavre en quelques minutes. 

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    English exercise "Giant Candiru" created by tizeph with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from tizeph]
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    There's no doubt that piranha have the most reputation in the Amazon, but I hadn't actually seen for myself one of their famous feeding frenzies. So I wasn't sure they deserved to be on the Deadly 60. We all headed back to the boat for the night and fished off the side for our dinner. Then, we spotted in the water. It was something infinitely more scary than a .

    'Oh, my goodness. Look at that! Oh, that is grotesque!'

    The strange shapes were a kind of catfish called giant candiru. Normal candiru are about the size of my little finger, so these ones are relative monsters.

    -'Oh, look at that! It's got right into the belly cavity. That is one single bite. It just looks like he's bored a hole straight into the of that fish. That is horrible. That is absolutely horrid.'
    -'You're going swimming now?'
    -'Eh, no. No. Or possibly never again.'

    This calls for a Deadly 60 experiment.

    -'Okay, I'm gonna time how long it takes them to this piece of steak.'

    Just imagine if you fell into the water. How long would it take before the candiru started attacking you?

    -'They are possibly the most grotesque, the most frightening fish I think I've ever seen.'

    And no had I put this bit of meat into the water, than all of a sudden it's …

    -'Ouch! Ha-ha! Suddenly surrounded by seething, white grotesque catfish. Look at… They're shredding it! They are absolutely shredding it! They just get a grip with those teeth and then spin their body round and round and round and bore into it, like some living drill bit.'

    Dudu reckons that they'll actually do this to a living animal swimming these waters at night. That is .

    -'Argh! Can I take piranhas off the Deadly 60 and put candiru on instead?'

    I wasn't planning on it, but I have to say that's one of the fish I've ever seen. Oh ho-ho! Look at that. From steak to nothing … in 48 seconds. I'm certainly not going swimming in there. They are . One of the most gruesome animals on the list! They drill a hole through their prey and can strip fish or meat right down to the in a matter of minutes. They're absolutely horrifying. They're the giant candiru.

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