Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)



Piranha are a freshwater fish native to the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, the rivers of the Guyanas and Paraguay.   There are also some specimens found in the United States, Potomac River, Lake of the Ozarks and Lake Winnebago, but they typically do not survive the cold winters.   Piranhas live in murky waters and forest bottoms.

Piranhas are typically grey to olive green in color, but their coloration will vary with their surroundings.   They grow to approximately 5 to 10 inches in length.   They have large heads and powerful tails and are very fast swimmers.

Piranhas are more commonly known for their razor-sharp teeth and their appetite for meat, omnivorous.   Their teeth will reproduce when one breaks off.   They are a ferocious predator.   They hunt in large groups (sometimes by the hundreds) to stripe their prey of flesh in minutes.   They will attack any animal, including other piranhas and humans.

They prey on just about anything, insects, invertebrates, small animals, birds, plants and fruit.   Usually, they will hide in the vegetation until prey comes along and then they will ambush it and/or chase it down.   They will also scavenge for carcasses, often causing a feeding frenzy among piranhas when a large carcass is found.

When Piranhas are ready to mate, their color darkens and they find a place to lay hundreds of tiny eggs.   Eggs hatch in only two or three days and both the male and female aggressively defend their babies.   The newborns will feed on crustaceans, fruits, seeds and plants.


Information courtesy wikipedia.org/wiki/piranha, Paradise Earth, LLC

Photo courtesy of infactcollaborative.com