Jun 14 2013

Killer Piranha

The red bellied piranha has the reputation of being one of the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world.

The fish lives in the Amazon River Basin, but can also be found in the coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil,as well as the basins of the Paraguay, Paranha and Essequibo Rivers.

Meet the Red Bellied Piranha

As juveniles they are silver in color with darker spots, but when fully grown they develop a reddish tinge to their belly as their name suggests.

They grow to a maximum length of 13 inches and can weigh up to almost 8 pounds.

Their diet consists mainly of other fish, insects, worms and crustaceans and occasionally a larger animal.

While they have been known to attack otherwise healthy animals, their victims are primarily dead, dying or injured.

Their spawning season occurs during the rainy season around April and May.

The females lay around 600 eggs, which the the now extremely territorial male fertilizes.

Hollywood has fueled many of the myths that surround this species, exaggerating their ferocious reputation, when in fact they are generally timid scavengers which often leads to disappointment in hobbyists who purchased them for home aquariums, based on their exaggerated reputations as killers.

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