Odd­ly enough, pira­nhas are car­ing par­ents and dri­ve every­one away from their home. In this arti­cle, you will get to know these preda­to­ry babies in more detail and find out why the piran­ha is called the Ama­zon thun­der­storm. This fish has a decep­tive appear­ance that does not look intim­i­dat­ing at all, but when it comes to its culi­nary pref­er­ences, then you should be afraid here. So, meet the piran­ha!


“A‑ah-ah-ah!” The scream echoed through­out the apart­ment. The fright­ened own­er ran out of the kitchen and saw with hor­ror that the water in his insane­ly expen­sive aquar­i­um turned red, and an old friend stood with a bit­ten fin­ger. “Why did you put your hand in the aquar­i­um? There are pira­nhas in there!”

Piran­ha (piran­ha) is a fam­i­ly of fish of the carp order. The body is lat­er­al­ly com­pressed, high, up to 60 cm long. Pow­er­ful jaws bear sharp, wedge-shaped teeth. St. 50 species, in fresh waters Yuzh. Amer­i­ca. Most­ly flock­ing preda­tors, attack­ing fish and oth­er ani­mals, dan­ger­ous to humans (a flock of com­mon pira­nhas can destroy a large ani­mal in a few min­utes). Her­biv­o­rous species cleanse water bod­ies of aquat­ic veg­e­ta­tion. Small species are kept in aquar­i­ums, where they lose their aggres­sive­ness.


Pira­nhas are small, on aver­age up to 30 cm in length, fish inhab­it the rivers of South Amer­i­ca. Young pira­nhas are sil­ver-blue in col­or, with dark speck­les, but dark­en with age and acquire a black mourn­ing col­or. Despite their small stature, pira­nhas are one of the most vora­cious fish. The razor-sharp teeth of a piran­ha, when it clos­es its jaws, adjoin each oth­er like a fold­ed lock of fin­gers. With his teeth, he can eas­i­ly bite a stick or a fin­ger.


Shep­herds dri­ving herds across rivers where pira­nhas are found have to give one of the ani­mals. And while the preda­tors deal with the vic­tim, aside from this place, the whole herd is safe­ly trans­port­ed to the oth­er side. Wild ani­mals turned out to be no less smart than peo­ple. To drink water or cross a riv­er where pira­nhas are found, they begin to attract the atten­tion of preda­tors with the noise or splash of water. And when the flock of pira­nhas rush to the noise, the ani­mals along the shore move to a safe place, drink quick­ly there or cross the riv­er.

See also
10 longest rivers


The quar­rel­some nature of pira­nhas makes them often quar­rel and attack each oth­er. But some ama­teur aquar­ists, in spite of every­thing, run the risk of keep­ing these fish at home. Pira­nhas attack any liv­ing crea­ture that is with­in their reach: large fish, domes­tic and wild ani­mals in the riv­er, humans. Alli­ga­tor — and he tries to get out of their way.


Here it is — the famous and leg­endary piran­ha. A small fish, only some 20 cm, with a pur­ple (in females) or blue-black (in males) col­or. It can also be olive-sil­ver or bright red. Sweet fish? Believe me, it’s bet­ter not to deal with her. Pira­nhas are known for their rep­u­ta­tion as blood­thirsty fish. Just look at her strong­ly devel­oped jaw with many sharp, pyra­mi­dal teeth.


The very name is fraught with dan­ger. The word “piran­ha” is bor­rowed from the South Amer­i­can Indi­ans and means “toothed demon”. Indeed, they have ter­ri­ble teeth. The jaw mus­cles are so devel­oped that the piran­ha can “cut off” the small­est piece. She does not tear her prey, but cuts it in pieces, like a sur­geon with a scalpel. The teeth are very sharp, not a sin­gle thick skin is a defense. An adult piran­ha can eas­i­ly bite a stick or a human fin­ger. A piran­ha can even bite through steel. Pira­nhas are espe­cial­ly dan­ger­ous dur­ing spawn­ing, when at first a pair of fish, and lat­er one male, guards the lay­ing of eggs. The piran­ha fam­i­ly includes sev­er­al species of preda­to­ry, as well as a large num­ber of her­biv­o­rous species.


The most com­mon is the com­mon or, as it is also called, red piran­ha. It is com­mon in the fresh waters of South Amer­i­ca, almost uni­ver­sal­ly found in the Ama­zon, Orinoco and La Pla­ta basins. It can also be found in the east­ern foothills of the Andes and Colom­bia, through­out the Ama­zon basin, in Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and north­east Argenti­na. Insignif­i­cant pop­u­la­tions of pira­nhas are also found in the USA and Mex­i­co, in Europe, in Spain and oth­er coun­tries where they came from ama­teur aquar­i­ums. Young peo­ple are more active and gath­er in flocks more often. They are con­stant­ly roam­ing in search of food.

See also
Rest on the lake Svityaz - the deepest lake in Ukraine


Adult pira­nhas are dis­tin­guished by sol­id behav­ior: most of the time they stand in their cho­sen place, some­times they hide behind snags or in algae, that is, they pre­fer not to chase prey, but to wait for it from shel­ter. Despite the fact that pira­nhas are preda­tors and have a rep­u­ta­tion as “under­wa­ter wolves”, these fish are very shy and eas­i­ly go into shock when fright­ened. With a sharp move­ment, the fish turns pale and falls side­ways to the bot­tom, after a while the fish wakes up, starts swim­ming as usu­al, and then beware, the piran­ha will defend and attack. clean a large ani­mal to the skele­ton in a minute. These fish are attract­ed to water splash­es and the smell of blood. Feed­ing pira­nhas are an unpleas­ant sight. The water lit­er­al­ly boils from the fish scur­ry­ing back and forth. And the vic­tim, sur­round­ed by these preda­tors, lit­er­al­ly dis­ap­pears before our eyes. Pira­nhas also behave like can­ni­bals: they can eat anoth­er piran­ha caught on a hook. Young pira­nhas can grab a piece of the fin from their neigh­bor while feed­ing. That is why it is very dif­fi­cult to meet not crip­pled fish — almost all of them are wound­ed and scarred. No case is known when a piran­ha would eat a per­son. How­ev­er, every year about 80 peo­ple suf­fer from this preda­tor. The wounds that remain after her teeth are very seri­ous and nev­er ful­ly heal.


The best thing is if after meet­ing with pira­nhas only a scar remains. There are a lot of cas­es when, because of pira­nhas, a per­son lost one of his body parts — a fin­ger, or even his entire arm or leg. In some coun­tries, they tried to com­plete­ly destroy pira­nhas. In Brazil, they tried to poi­son her with poi­sons, but pira­nhas are very hardy. As a result, pira­nhas remained unharmed, while oth­er inhab­i­tants of the reser­voirs suf­fered. But you can not destroy pira­nhas also because they are need­ed by nature. Pira­nhas, like wolves, are order­lies — they kill the weak­er, the old and the sick. Thus, they make the pop­u­la­tions of their vic­tims stronger. And if you do not want to suf­fer from pira­nhas, then just do not climb into the water if you know that they are found there.

See also
Salinas Grandes - the salt fields of Argentina