Isabella Patino Torres May 16 2016 Period 9

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The piranha is a freshwater fish and is found in almost every country in Southern America. They are being found more often in the southern part of the United States. Piranhas also live in the rivers of jungles in the Amazon. (Piranha) These fish are also found in warm lakes of North America and in Bangladesh. The piranhas live but mostly hunt in schools of up to 1,000 fish (Piranhas Facts) The Guiana and Paraguayan river systems are also home to piranhas. Sometimes, piranhas may be found in the Potomac River but they do not survive for long in the winter.(Piranhas 2)


The piranha has very successful ways of navigating through the waters of the Amazon. One way they move is with their tail at the end of the body. The tail is thick, and powerful.(Piranha Description)

Being such great swimmers, piranhas don't use as much energy to move each muscle.(Piranha Description)

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Body Covering

The piranha is covered with a leathery coat of skin and is very slippery. The skin is naturally a dark color with a few lighter color blotches around it's body. (Piranha Fish) Most of the time, they are grey, though. (Piranha Description) The only reason the piranha will change color is when it is mating. (Piranha Fish)

The piranha is a vertebrate fish and has a skeleton just like us.(Piranha Fish)

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The Piranha's diet is usually based on the amount of food there is. If there is plenty of food, they will eat fish, snails, insects, aquatic plants or birds that fly into the water and don't make it out. When food is scarce, they will eat humans, other small animals or other piranhas until they are full. (Piranha) They are carnivores and also eat mollusks, crustaceans, lizards and rodents. When hunting in schools, larger fish and mammals will be attacked.(Piranha Fish)


The reproduction of piranhas is sexual and fertilization is external. The female will lay eggs and both male and female will spend time watching over the eggs. When the mother finds a place to lay her eggs, she usually lays up to no more than 5,000 of them. ( Piranha Facts)This usually happens during the rainy season in April and May.(Piranha Fish)

Due to the fact of both parents taking care of the young and unborn, up to 90% of the offspring survive. ( Piranha Facts) The eggs will hatch within two to three days depending on the water temperature.(Piranha Fish)

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Most people think the piranhas are known for attacking humans just like the shark but they are wrong. An attack on a human from a piranha is very rare and they will only attack when there is little food and they only pose little threat. An open cut may draw the attention of a shark, piranha or other carnivorous eaters.(Piranhas 2)

The piranhas predators include humans, crocodiles, caiman and larger fish specie.(Piranha Fast Facts)

Other Info

  • The word piranha means " fish tooth" in the language of the Amazonian's.
  • They grow up to 5.5 to 17 inches long and weigh up to 7.7 pounds.
  • Piranhas are omnivores and cannibals. They will eat their kind!
  • Their teeth are sharp, pointed and are in single rows.(Piranha Facts)
  • The force of a piranha's jaw can crush the hand of a human in 5-10 seconds and can bite through a hook made from silver.
  • Piranhas have special sensory organs that help them find where blood is located in the water.(Piranhas)
  • The teeth of piranhas are used for tools and weapons.
  • the piranhas predators consist of crocodiles,herons and other larger animals.(Piranhas 2)
  • The piranhas fish are replaceable which means that when one falls out, a new one grows in. (Piranha Fish)
  • Piranhas live to about 10 or more years in aquariums and zoos.(Piranha Fast Facts)

Work Cited

  • Kagen, Elliott. "Getting a Bad Rap." Boy's Life 11 Dec. 2005: n. pag. SIRS
Discoverer. Web. 10 May 2016. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/

  • Man Smuggles 40,000 Piranhas." National Geographics: n. pag. National
    Geographic. Web. 10 May 2016. <http://news.nationalgeographic.com/

  • Roman Snail." Fact Zoo. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 May 2016. <http://www.factzoo.com/