expert hunters

Piranhas are small hunting fish that live in the warm waters of the Amazon and other rivers and lakes in South America. These are very famous for their aggressiveness and voracious appetite. Read to learn more about their characteristics, habitat, and behavior.

The body of the piranha is oval, robust and covered with scales. The exact number of species is unknown, however, it is estimated that there may be between 30 to 60 species. Most species measure between 14 and 26 cm in length, however, some can reach 60 cm in length. His jaw is very strong, while his head is prominent. The teeth are triangle-shaped and very sharp. These fish are silver in color with shades of red, yellow, orange, or black.

To protect themselves from predators, piranhas live in groups known as schools. However, they do not hunt with the group, they prefer to hunt alone. Sometimes several piranhas can attack the same larger prey. But this behavior is not common, since they do not attack unless the water level is very low or there is little food.

Fun facts

  • Piranhas are omnivorous. The diet of these fish includes other fish, crustaceans and snails, as well as fruits and seeds that fall into the water.
  • When they do not find food they attack and eat other piranhas.
  • The females lay around 5,000 eggs. With the help of the male, they take care of these until the young hatch, which takes about 3 days. Due to the care of both parents, 90% of the eggs survive to hatch.
  • They can live up to 25 years in their natural habitat. In captivity, they only live between 10 and 20 years.
  • Piranha predators include crocodiles, river dolphins, and turtles.