10 Fascinating Facts about Piranha Fish

picture red-bellied piranha

Red-bellied Piranha photo by wikimedia commons Karelj

1. All Piranhas live in tropical freshwater rivers, lakes, and lagoons in the northern half of South America.

2. There are between 30-60 species of Piranhas.

3. Piranhas’ teeth are triangular shaped and as sharp as sharks’ teeth.

4. Only 3 species of Piranhas are considered dangerous to humans:
a. Black shoulder Piranha
b. Red-bellied Piranha (average sized at 13 inches and 3 pounds)
c. Sao Francisco Piranha (largest at 24 inches and 13 pounds)

5. There have been no fatal attacks on humans as Piranhas only bite fingers, toes and chunks of legs and hips.

6. Piranhas live 10-25 years.

7. Shoals of up to 1000 Piranhas stay together to survive, not necessarily to hunt.

8. Most Piranhas are omnivores that eat meat (scavenge mainly), seeds and fruits.

9. Predators include caimans (a small crocodile), river otters, larger fish, and herons (a large bird).

10. When Piranhas attack a large animal, they eat the flesh and muscle in seconds, and leave only the skeleton.

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