You’ve never seen a piranhas’ head before, and it’s probably because it’s been eaten by a different kind of piranhu.
A new study has revealed that a group of pirenha plants can make their roots much more dangerous for the critters to eat.
The researchers found that they could eat up to 90 percent of the leaves of pireni plants in a test tube, which could mean the plants can destroy the entire host plant’s immune system in a matter of hours.
If that happens, you could be in for a long, painful experience.
“The plant’s roots can have a very long lifespan, and we can see that it has been observed to cause death in the wild by eating the host plant,” study lead researcher and entomologist David Pfeiffer told BBC News.
So how can a plant survive so long?
“The best analogy I can give you is a person being fed a hamburger, and the leaves on the bottom end of the hamburger are being cooked, but the bottom of the meat is not,” Pfeffer said.
“That’s why the plant’s root can actually become a much more deadly predator of the host, because it can take all the root hairs out of the plant.”
So what do pirenhas have to do with tooth decay?
While the piranhines have been known to kill other plant species for a while, the new study was the first to study how their roots can do this to other species of plants.
“They’re not just eating the plant, they’re eating the entire root,” Pferg said.
It’s been known for some time that plant roots have the ability to kill bacteria.
But what’s not known is just how many times they can kill other organisms.
“We’re now finding that the plant roots are a bit more toxic than the plants themselves,” Pfffers said.
But the research isn’t all doom and gloom.
Piranhas are a very versatile predator.
They’ll eat any plant that’s not a threat, from lettuce to tomatoes to peppers, and even some aquatic plants.
It seems like the plants that they can destroy are the ones that we’re really familiar with in the environment.
“There’s some plants that are so good at eating other plants that we can say ‘that’s our piranhad’ and the next thing we know we’re eating a different species,” Pfleff said.
In the future, we could be able to make a plant-based toothpaste that mimics piranho roots, Pfeifers said, but for now, there’s only one way to protect your teeth: protect yourself with more tooth care.