• The piranha is a sharp-toothed fish that lives in lakes and rivers throughout most of South America. There are at least 25 different species of piranhas.  They have deep bodies that are flattened on both sides.  Most piranhas are olive green to blue-black with red or orange bellies.
  • The most common species of the piranha family is called the Red Piranha, which can grow to nearly thirty centimetres long.  Piranhas usually swim alone and feed on smaller fish, seeds or fruit that have fallen in the water.  The piranhas belong to the family called Characidae and the Red Piranha is called Rooseveltiella Nattereri.



  • Piranhas can or will eat anything with a meaty scent to it. They also consume those things that have died and fallen into the water and are floating down stream or are wedged up against something.
  • However, like many fish, the Piranha can endure quite a long period of time without having something to eat.
  • When something has been wounded and it has stepped into the water the piranhas can smell the blood of that animal from hundreds of feet away.  That makes the Piranha a fish that you wouldn’t like to run into if you have been bitten by something or have a bit of blood on you.
  • Being carnivorous Piranhas feed on small fish, crabs, mammals, lizards and celeopteran insects.  Some species of Piranhas are omnivores and may eat more plants than animal matter.  Piranhas generally forage during the day and shelter between thick vegetation in shallow waters at night.



  • Piranhas are tropical fish that are distributed throughout South America in the Amazon Basin Brazil and Venezuela. They are fresh water fish that inhabit the open waters of rivers. Piranhas prefer shallow waters, in particular rapids but can also be found in deeper zones of main rivers and also in estuaries. These fish generally occur in small groups of around 20 fish.


Breeding In The Wild:

  • Similar to other tropical fish, the Piranhas in the wild will breed following the rain forest’s wet and dry seasonal changes.  Spawning begins sometime in the month of April (onset of the wet season) with sexually mature Piranhas and continues into the late summer.
  • Various piranhas spawn throughout this time but not all of the piranhas spawn at the exact same time.  During the breeding season the Piranhas change colour.  The most beautiful colour change happens in the onset of the spawning season.  Many Piranhas seem to turn almost completely black and even their fins turn quietly.



  • Piranhas are world famous for their extremely sharp teeth. The native peoples of South America will catch and kill the Piranhas and use their teeth to make their tools and weapons.  Even the fisherman who catch these vicious little fish still have to be careful when the fish is out of the water, a single fish is still dangerous enough to take out a bit of your flesh or the odd toe.

Hunting Strategies:

  • From the moment the baby piranhas hatch from their eggs they come into the world a very dangerous little creature.  A baby piranha will feed on anything small that is easy to chew up like small crustaceans, fruit or seeds that have fallen into the water.
  • Once the piranhas reach about 1.5 inches they begin to feed on the fins and flesh of other small fish that come too close.  As the baby piranhas grow larger they begin to venture into open world of water. Where they start to use a variety of hunting strategies to kill and eat their prey.  Heck, they don’t kill their prey they eat it alive! That’s what makes them so ferocious.  Adult piranhas have been known to eat their own young – talk about brutal!  When a school of piranhas are in a feeding frenzy the water appears to boil and churn red with blood.



One Of The Biggest Piranhas’s ever seen.


The Tiger-fish is known as the “Giant piranha” had 50kg in weight, 1,5m in length and no less than 32 fangs caught in the Congo River by Jeremy Wade.  This fish is one of the most terrifying from fresh waters and is a larger version of the well known piranha.