Generally found in fast-flowing streams!
Piranha Scientific Classification
- Scientific Name
- Pygocentrus Nattereri
Piranha Conservation Status
- Main Prey
- Fish, Insects, Snails. Plants
- Distinctive Feature
- Rounded head and a single row and triangular teeth
- Water Type
- Optimum pH Level
- 6 - 8
- Fast flowing rivers and Amazon basin
- Botos, Crocodiles, Turtles
- Favorite Food
- Average Clutch Size
- Generally found in fast-flowing streams!
Piranha Physical Characteristics
- Skin Type
- 20 - 25 years
- 20cm - 50cm (7.8in - 20in)
Click through all of our Piranha images in the gallery.
The piranha is a type of freshwater fish found in the rivers of the South American jungles. The piranha can be found in nearly every country in South America and the piranha have been appearing more recently in the south of the USA.
The piranha fish has a single row of razor-sharp teeth with the piranha being most commonly known for their taste for blood. The piranha feeds on fish, mammals and birds alike, with the wholes group of piranhas feeding together in a slight frenzy.
Despite the carnivorous nature of the piranha, the piranha is actually an omnivore and will eat almost anything that it can find. Piranhas mainly feed on fish, snails, insects and aquatic plants occasionally eating larger mammals and birds that fall into the water.
Despite it’s feared nature, the piranha actually has a number of predators in the wild, including humans that hunt the piranha for food. Piranhas are preyed upon by large predators such as river dolphins (known as botos), crocodiles, turtles, birds and larger fish.
The piranha is generally around 30cm long but some piranha individuals have been found measuring nearly 80cm. The piranha is said to be more feared by many humans than even a shark.
Piranhas are generally found in fast flowing rivers and streams where there is plenty of food for the piranha to eat. The piranhas live together in large shoals and constantly compete for food. Feeding frenzies will be triggered when there is a shortage of food or blood in the water.
Piranhas tend to breed in pairs in slower water such as lagoons generally during the rainy season around April to May. The mating pair prepare a nest that the female piranha lays clusters of eggs in. The female piranha lays an average of 5,000 eggs and due to the fact that the male piranha and the female piranha defend their protected eggs so effectively, more than 90% often survive and hatch after just a few days.
In August 2009 a 35cm piranha was found in a river in Devon, thousands of miles from its native home. The team that discovered the piranha were utterly bewildered as to what this tropical fish was going in a river in England but later deduced that this piranha must have been kept as a pet and then released due to the fact that it was eating sweetcorn.View all 41 animals that start with P
Piranha FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are Piranhas herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?
Piranhas are Omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and other animals.
What Kingdom do Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the Kingdom Animalia.
What class do Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the class Actinopterygii.
What phylum to Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the phylum Chordata.
What family do Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the family Characidae.
What order do Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the order Characiformes.
What type of covering do Piranhas have?
Piranhas are covered in Scales.
What genus do Piranhas belong to?
Piranhas belong to the genus Piranha.
In what type of habitat do Piranhas live?
Piranhas live in fast-flowing rivers and the Amazon basin.
What is the main prey for Piranhas?
Piranhas eat fish, insects, snails, and plants.
What are some predators of Piranhas?
Predators of Piranhas include botos, crocodiles, and turtles.
What are some distinguishing features of Piranhas?
Piranhas have rounded heads and a single row and triangular teeth.
How many eggs do Piranhas lay?
Piranhas typically lay 5,000 eggs.
What is an interesting fact about Piranhas?
Piranhas are generally found in fast-flowing streams!
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
- Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
- David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
- Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
- David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
- Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals