Long ago, at the Hancock Museum in Newcastle before it was refurbished, there was a piranha in a glass tank on a half landing of the staircase. Despite the forbidding notices people would tap on the glass in the hope of goading him to snap. Sometimes he would. The fish - nicknamed Robbie - barely had enough room to turn round and always seemed tired and miserable. In Bolton Museum another piranha, known as Nasher, lived to be 28 years old, despite being completely blind. At the time she was reckoned to be the oldest piranha in captivity and was fed on smelt, from the Fish Market nearby.

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