Piranhas (Pygocentrus sp.) are best known for their razor-sharp teeth, which can be replaced throughout the fish’s lifetime. The word piranha actually means “tooth fish” in Portuguese.
Most piranhas are omnivorous. President Theodore Roosevelt famously recounted how he witnessed piranhas devouring an entire cow in Brazil in 1913. However, that story can be misleading as piranhas do live socially with other fish when food is plentiful. When food is in short supply, piranhas will eat voraciously what they can find, including their own kind.
Piranhas are freshwater fish found in South America. They are sometimes found in warmer waterways around the world, including China and Texas.
Piranhas are not endangered.
There are several dozen species of piranha. These creatures have lived in South America for nearly 2 million years – and their ancestors are thought to have inhabited South America rivers for as much as 25 million years.