Piranha are freshwater fish found in South America. Although they are omnivorous, piranha are known for their sharp flesh eating teeth. A school of piranha has been known to attack large animals and humans. In Brazil, many people are injured and sometimes killed by a piranha attack each year.
Photo: a school of piranha (source: Piranha 3D).
Piranhas are typically 15 to 25 centimeters in length. Some species are over 40 centimeters long. Adult piranhas lay their eggs in little pits on the river floor. The hatchlings usually feed on plankton until they are older.
The teeth of the piranha are unique. The fish have a single row of sharp triangular teeth in their upper and lower jaws. The teeth are well suited for biting and tearing flesh.
Piranhas belong to the family Characidae, in the class of ray finned fishes. It is thought that there are between 30 to 60 different piranha species.
Piranha are naturally found in the Amazon region of South America. They have been introduced as exotic pets to North America and Asia.
Piranhas and Man
In some parts of South America, the piranha is caught and eaten as food by people. In other parts of the Amazon region, some piranha species have been known to attack animals and people in their search for food.
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14 Fun Facts About Piranhas, Smithsonian.