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The red piranha is a South American freshwater fish widely distributed in the basins of the Amazon, Paraguay-Parana and Essequibo rivers. This species prefers areas with dense vegetation, such as creeks and interconnected ponds, where it can easily hide and ambush its prey. Adults can grow to 8 to 12 inches.
Piranhas feed communally in groups of 20 to 30 individual fish and exhibit a “lurking, then dashing” sequence of behaviors during the day. The group may attack prey in a feeding frenzy that is further stimulated by the presence of blood in the water. However, not all feeding is violent; the red piranha also scavenges for food such as insects, snails, worms and plants.
You can see a school of these well known carnivores in the River Scout gallery.