According to movies, piranhas are vicious, unforgiving creatures that eat human flesh; however, that’s not the case about piranhas.
Piranha means “toothfish,” and even though they were stereotyped as one of the brutal fish, an interesting fact about them is not all of them have a taste for blood as some of them are vegetarian.
Their most common features are their razor-sharp teeth and orange color.
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Piranhas belong to the Serrasaminae subfamily, which is largely known to be carnivorous.
Most piranhas grow between 5 to 14 inches long, while San Francisco piranhas can grow as large as 20 inches. The number of piranha species is unknown, as more species are emerging. The range of piranha species is more than 60.
Distribution Of Piranhas
All piranhas inhabited all around South America, while more than 20 species live in the Amazon River. They are also abundant in the rivers of Guianas and the San Francisco River.
At today’s time, piranhas are also introduced to aquariums but were held illegal by the US to transport, purchase, and sell them.
But this can be manageable if piranha breeders have a permit from Oregon Piranha Exotic Fish Exhibit.
Habits And Diets Of The Piranhas
Piranhas swim together as a group for feeding frenzies, and this is a form of their defense mechanism against predators. When they are threatened, they have an amazing team to take down their predator.
To clarify, piranhas don’t shred any flesh that dips in the water. As mentioned above, some of them are omnivorous as they eat more plants than meat.
For instance, the species Tometes Camunani would eat shrimp, worms, and crustaceans. Human attacks are rare, not like what the movies are putting in our minds.
Characteristics Of The Piranha
The most aggressive kind of piranha is the red-colored piranha, and they would often spread out and scout when feeding. Black-bellied piranhas are more forceful and powerful because of their large jaw muscles.
Their strong jaw is already their advantage added with their quick-biting. Another species of piranha is Wimpel Piranhas, which are very observant when they are eyeing their prey. They are sneaky and strategic and would swim quickly towards the target.
Each piranha has its strategy when it comes to spawning. Most of them would lay their eggs below the water. However, the red-bellied female piranha would lay their eggs in a nest made by the male piranha.
On the other hand, the male piranha is the one responsible for fertilizing the eggs. After that, they would attach the eggs to the plants at the bottom of the water, and they would hatch it within a couple of days.
Their preservation has not been assessed yet because they are not yet endangered. The book “Through the Brazilian Wilderness,” written by former US president Theodore Roosevelt created a lot of buzz against piranha and made it look that they were scary enough to pet.
Piranhas may have strong jaws and would take down their prey very easily, but piranha is not scary as you think they are. They are just victims of people’s misconceptions about them.