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Piranhas Facts

Piranhas are fish. This means that they are covered in scales, breathe with gills, and hatch from eggs. They are also cold-blooded.

If an animal is cold-blooded, they are not able to control their body temperature and must rely on their environment to heat up or cool down.

Piranhas live in rivers in streams in South America. They are omnivores, which means that they will eat meat and plants.


These fish are one of the oldest species of fish left on the planet. They have been around with very few changes for millions of years.

They are a small fish. Piranhas have a round body and large head. They can grow to be between 8 to 15 inches in length.

A group of piranhas is called a shoal. Even the largest shoals only have about 20 fish in them.

Though they do feed together as a group that is not the reason that piranhas swim in groups. They actually like to group together for protection from predators.


Piranhas are eaten by a variety of other animals, including piranhas themselves.

Herons, caimans, snakes, and turtles have been known to eat piranhas as well.

There are lots of different kinds of piranhas, though the most common variety is known as the red-bellied piranhas, which is named because of its red belly.

The most famous, or infamous, a feature of a piranha is its teeth. The teeth are very sharp and are triangular.

This helps them to tear meat away from their prey. They also have a very powerful bite, which has been measured to have about 72 pounds of force.


Since they are such active chompers, a piranha has to replace its teeth all of the time. Their teeth, luckily, grow in four sets. These sets are replaced about every 100 days or so.

Even though they are thought to be merciless eating machines, piranhas will eat both plants and meat. They mostly eat smaller fish, insects, snails, and some aquatic plants.

They will also go after larger animals if the opportunity presents itself.

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The only time that this occurs, however, is if the larger animals fall into the water and are injured or in some form of distress.

Feeding frenzies will occasionally occur when the situation is right. If there hasn’t been any food for a while and there is blood in the water, then piranhas will become frenzied and bite everything and anything to get a full belly.

These fish are only found in freshwater streams and rivers. They are mostly found in the Amazon Basin in South America.


Piranhas prefer water that is swiftly moving. The water that they live in is usually 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, which is nice and warm.

While piranha attacks on humans do happen, they are exceedingly rare.

The only way that these fish would go after humans is because they feel threatened or they are especially hungry.

In captivity, piranhas can live longer than they would in the wild. The oldest known piranhas in captivity lived to eight years old.

Whenever a female piranha lays eggs, they will usually number in the thousands. These eggs are then fertilized by a male and guarded over by the shoal.

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