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Monday, May 16, 2016

Piranha

Photo Credit: Greg5030
The relatively small piranha is one of the most feared of all river fish. It will attack prey many times larger than itself, but its reputation as a man-eater is questionable.

Unspectacular in appearance except for its over-sized moth and prominent teeth, the piranha varies in color from species to species. Most have olive-green or blue-black backs with dark to silvery-gray sides and bellies.

Piranhas live in enormous packs, or shoals. They spend most of their time hunting for food. Rivers are their primary habitat, although as a result of massive flooding they may occasionally find their way into lakes. But is is thought that they are unable to breed outside of rivers.

The piranha hunts with speed and by surprise. The typical way in which piranhas attack is by swimming directly into a shoal of prey fish. The attacked shoal scatters in all directions and the piranhas quickly overpower individual fish. Small fish are swallowed whole. Larger prey have chunks ripped out to them which the piranha swallows instantly so it can immediately take another bite.

Did you know?
  • The teeth of the piranha are so sharp they can slice through bone. 
  • Piranhas can consume animals the size of pigs within minutes. 
  • It is believed that piranhas tend to attack fish that are more than four times as long as they are wide.

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