One of the most infamous fresh water fish is the Red Bellied Piranhas found throughout the Amazon River in South America. The name Piranha comes from the Portuguese piro for ‘fish’ and sainha for ‘tooth’ as they were named after their intimidatingly sharp teeth.
There are only 3 out of the 70 different species of piranhas that are deadly and The Red Bellied Piranhas that you can find at Tynemouth are one of these 3.The time they are most dangerous is in the warm dry seasons as the water levels drop the piranhas are pushed into more cramped conditions.
Piranhas have strong sense which make them expert hunters. They can hear splashing water from miles away as this will often signify a struggling animal. Their bodies have a line of sensors which will allow them to detect changes in water movement, pressure and temperature which will often mean some sort of prey has entered near by and if they sense any blood in the water they will quickly trace the source and tear it to pieces.
This species hunts in a shoal which makes them even stronger as it has been known for a group of Red Bellied Piranhas to strip a fully grown crocodile down to a skeleton in minutes. Just because you are a Red Bellied Piranha doesn’t mean you are safe because if food supplies are low these piranhas have turned on each other for food. Not all piranhas have a taste for meat with some living off a diet of fallen fruit and plants.
Fish: ferocious river predator
What do they eat?
Insects, fish, crustaceans, worms and plants
Where are we?
South America and Amazon