What do piranhas eat? All about their food

Piranhas feed on fish, crustaceans (crabs, shrimps, etc.), frogs, insects, freshwater invertebrates, birds that venture into the water and even aquatic plants present in their habitat.

Piranha food

That said, besides everything we mentioned in the previous paragraph, piranhas also feed on carrion, that is, the remains of both animals and humans.

Despite the popular legend (which was created mainly because of what we can see in the big movies that show in the cinema), in reality, this fish would never attack a living human being, unless he feels threatened or very hungry.

However, red piranhas and black piranhas are extremely aggressive and will bite at the slightest movement or the slightest smell of blood.

Feeding piranhas in captivity

On the other hand, we must clarify that, if the responsibility for feeding piranhas is to be assumed by human beings, it is absolutely necessary that these provide them with sufficient quantities of raw meat, small fish or pieces of fish, worms and insects.

They can also be given a compound food for piranhas but, on a regular basis, they will have to be provided with live food in order to preserve their natural behavior.

Characteristics of piranhas

Piranhas are freshwater fish that live in some South American rivers. They have an oval body, laterally flat and covered with small scales.

Their head is flattened and has powerful and prominent jaws with triangular and pointed teeth, tapering like knives.

They are black or silver in color and, depending on the species, have the belly and the lower part of the head in shades of red, orange or yellow.

Generally, piranhas measure between 15 and 25 cm long, although specimens exceeding 40 cm in length have been identified. They can weigh up to 3.5 kg and usually live for around 25 years.

Gregarious animals

Due to their living conditions and their characteristics, piranhas are known as mainly gregarious animals, that is, they live in large groups (which can reach 1,000 individuals).

They are characterized by their insatiability and voracious appetite and can devour the heaviest prey in minutes. Despite the great ferocity of piranhas, some animals such as dolphins, crocodiles or turtles feed on them without any problem.