Piranha is the fish, which is considered the aggressive and meat eaters. Therefore, they have a very bad reputation among the people as a dangerous fish. They have the reputation like the Great White Shark.
There are about 25 different species of piranhas. These are sharp toothed fish with deep bodies and their bodies are flattened on the both sides. Their body is olive-green to blue-black and have red or orange belly. These are carnivorous fish, which normally grow up to (15 to 25) cm in length. Apart from the general size, some of these fish have been found up to a size of 40 cm long. Their mouth can be seen bit open and the triangular small sharp teeth of these species are visible. The most popular fish in the Piranha family is the Red Piranha, which can grow up to a size of about 30 cm in length.
The Piranhas are the fresh water fishes and are found all over in South America. These fishes like to live in shallow water but can also be found in the deeper water of the rivers and estuaries. These fish can be found in Paraguayan river, Guianas and the Amazonian river. They are schooling fish and like to live in groups. These can be found in small groups of around 20 fish.
They are carnivorous and get attracted to anything that has a scent of the meat. These fish feed mainly on meat and this includes anything that is wedged or fallen in water. These species have a special characteristic that they can smell the blood even from the distance of about 100 feet away. These fish like to feed on lizards, sea crabs, mammals, small fish and coleopteran insects. There are some species of piranhas, which are omnivorous and feed mainly on plant matters.
Breeding / Reproduction
The spawning in these species takes place in the month of April and continues till the late summer. These fish changes color during the time of spawning. They change into full black color at the time of spawning.
Piranhas and Human Being
It has been reported that the attack of these fish on human being is very rare. It has been revealed that swimming in piranhas infested water at the time of drought season might be dangerous. The reason is that at the time of drought season there is food scarcity for these fishes and so they may become aggressive and attack on human beings. These fishes have the same sensory capability like that of sharks, which can sense blood from very far. These fishes are dangerous if one enters into the piranha infested water with a scratch or blood mark. A group of this fish can turn a horse or other species into a skeleton within a second if attacked. However, these have been the stories indeed, which have been very popular from the olden days. In real, no such stories have been found that could prove this but they attack on the smell of blood is true.