Amazon Rainforest

4 Facts You Probably Did Not Know About The Amazon Piranha

Piranhas are a freshwater fish with razor-sharp teeth commonly found in the Amazon basin. Known for its insatiable appetite, Piranhas have lived up to its ferocious reputation. However, there are several misconceptions about this fish. Below we dive into 5 facts you probably don’t know about piranhas.

Some Piranhas are vegetarian

Piranha means “tooth fish” in its native Brazilian dialect. However, not all piranha species are carnivorous predators; some are actually vegetarian. For example, there’s a specie that only eat aquatic weeds.

Piranhas are all omnivores, meaning that their diet consisting of insects, fish, snails, worms, seeds and various plants. They tend to eat larger creatures, such as mammals and birds if they are dead or dying and have fallen into the water. Because they’re equipped with  sensory organs that make them sensitive to the presence of blood in the water, it is easy for them to track prey.  

Even though piranhas typically are not a threat to humans, several attacks have occurred, especially when the piranhas are in a stressed situation. However, most piranha attacks on humans only result in minor injuries.

Piranhas Shed Their Fearsome Teeth

Each Piranha has a large lower jaw with just one row of many razor-like teeth. The piranha’s top and bottom teeth work together like scissors to cut up food. Experts say they have a pretty relentless bite force and really strong teeth. Yet what many people don’t know is that Their teeth are  replaceable and in fact, they tend to shed them on a regular basis, regrowing them in chunks at a time.

Piranhas Live in Shoals

Shoals of piranhas can be found in numbers of up to 1000. This tendency is a form of self-defence.These fishes actually have many predators, particularly when they are young, such as caimans, river dolphins, turtles, otters, birds and other larger fish. Living in shoals allows them to protect each other.

Piranhas are Native to South America

The piranha is native South American  specie to and can be only found in warm freshwater rivers, lakes and streams,  particularly in the Amazon basin. Nevertheless, piranhas have been introduced to various areas worldwide, including North America, Hawaii and Bangladesh.

If you’re ready to meet these fishes, start planning your once in a lifetime trip to the Amazon Rainforest. Enjoy the best of the Ecuadorian Amazon jungle and try fishing a Piranha in one of the tours that Yacuma EcoLodge offers. Explore the Amazon in style staying at Yacuma EcoLodge!