The natural habitat of the piranha is limited to fast-flowing freshwater rivers and streams. Native to the jungles of the Amazon Basin, Pygocentrus nattereri has been spotted in nearly every South American country.
Known for its razor-sharp teeth and thirst for blood, average adults of the species range from 8 to 20 inches in length. While feared by swimmers for its aggressive attacks, the fish mainly feed on aquatic plants, insects, smaller fish and snails though they occasionally feast on small mammals and birds that fall into their environment. Predators include river dolphins, birds, crocodiles, river dolphins, turtles and larger fish.