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Bite force

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Researchers measured the bite force of 15 wild black piranhas in the Amazon basin. They found that the force exerted was 320 Newtons, the strongest recorded for any living bony or cartilaginous fish.After adjusting for size, that is about three times the force of an American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) and more than is estimated forTyrannosaurus rex.

These findings allowed a conservative estimate of the bite force of an extinct Miocense relative, the giant Megapiranha paranensis: an astounding1240-4749 Newtons.

The combination of massive muscles and specially-shaped jaws explains this bone-crushing force which allows these piranhas to be apex predators in the Amazon basin.

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Trophic Strategy

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Forms schools. Mainly diurnal (Ref. 9096). Occurs in the rapids but is also captured in deep zones of main rivers with the use of fish bait. Is essentially a carnivore, feeds on small fish, crabs, mammals, lizards and coleopteran insects. Its opportunistic behavior allows it to adapt to various biotopes (Ref. 12225). It is timid and not aggressive but it possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites, and is therefore, potentially dangerous.
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Biology

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Occurs in the rapids but is also captured in deep zones of main rivers with the use of fish bait. Is essentially a carnivore, feeds on small fish, crabs, mammals, lizards and coleopteran insects. Its opportunistic behavior allows it to adapt to various biotopes (Ref. 12225). It is timid and not aggressive but it possesses powerful dentition that can cause serious bites, and is therefore, potentially dangerous. Import is prohibited in some areas. However, the incorporation of this species in fish-based house security systems has been proposed (see Ref. 9506).
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Importance

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fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
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Redeye piranha

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The redeye piranha (Serrasalmus rhombeus), also known as the black piranha, white piranha, spotted piranha or yellow piranha, is a species of freshwater ray-finned fish, a piranha from the family Serrasalmidae. It is found in northern South America. It is the type species of the genus Serrasalmus.

Description

The redeye piranha is one of the larger species of piranha. It has a distinctively, rhombus-shaped body, solidly coloured from grey through to nearly black. Whatever the body colour, this species has red eyes. The colour of juveniles can be more mottled than in adults. As they mature their silvery body becomes less mottled and changes to a darker grey or black colour. How dark the fish become depends on the local water conditions; fish in Peru appear to be the darkest and may be almost jet black.[2] The maximum recorded fish measurement standard length is 41.5 centimetres (16.3 in),[1] although a more normal length is around 32 centimetres (13 in),[2] and they attain a maximum weight of 3.0 kilograms (6.6 lb).[1]

Distribution

The redeye piranha is found in northern South America, east of the Andes. They are found in the drainage systems of the Amazon and Orinoco as well as the Essequibo River and other rivers of the Guiana Shield and the coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil.[1] It has been introduced to Florida but is now extirpated.[3]

Habitat and biology

The redeye piranha occurs in a wide variety of habitats but the adults have a preference for the larger, deeper river channels where they normally hunt for prey either in deep stretches or in the vicinity of rapids. The juveniles are most frequently recorded in stiller stretches where there is thick submerged or marginal vegetation. Paler coloured fish tend to be found in turbid white waters, while in clear or dark waters, dark fish predominate.[4] These fish are opportunistic and omnivorous feeders which will eat plants, fallen fruits and animals smaller than themselves such as insects and small fishes. They will also eat the scales and fins which they can nip off other fishes. They are well known scavengers, and feed on carcasses within the river.[2][4] This is not a sociable species and normally lives solitarily. At least when breeding they defend an area around the nest which is placed among thick vegetation.[4]

Taxonomy

The redeye piranha was first formally described in 1766 as Salmo rhombeus with the type locality given as Brokopondo on the Suriname River in Surinam.[5] When Bernard Germain de Lacépède created the genus Serrasalmus in 1803 the only species he placed in it was Salmo rhombeus, so this species is the type species of its genus.[6] The morphological differences between populations suggest that S. rhombeus is a species complex,[3] but molecular work to confirm this has yet to be undertaken.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2019). "Serrasalmus rhombeus" in FishBase. December 2019 version.
  2. ^ a b c "The Black Piranha [also known as The RedEye Piranha]". The Piranha Guide. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b Leo Nico; Bill Loftus (30 April 2018). "Serrasalmus rhombeus (Linnaeus, 1766)". Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL. U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Serrasalmus rhombeus Black Piranha/Rhom". Serioulsy Fish. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  5. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "Salmo rhombeus". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  6. ^ Eschmeyer, William N.; Fricke, Ron & van der Laan, Richard (eds.). "genid=547". Catalog of Fishes. California Academy of Sciences. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
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Redeye piranha: Brief Summary

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The redeye piranha (Serrasalmus rhombeus), also known as the black piranha, white piranha, spotted piranha or yellow piranha, is a species of freshwater ray-finned fish, a piranha from the family Serrasalmidae. It is found in northern South America. It is the type species of the genus Serrasalmus.

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