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Red Belly PiranhaFeature Species Profile - The Red Bellied Piranha originates from the Amazon and Orinoco river basins in South America. Due to color variations and similar fish as far south as Argentina, this species is also known as the Gold Dust Piranha, the Ternetzi and the Yellow King Emperor Piranha. It was formerly known by the scientific name Serrasalmus nattereri. The Red Belly is the most common of all piranhas. It has very powerful, sharp teeth that continually replace. Although Red Bellies have a reputation for fierceness (started by a prank pulled on President Theodore Roosevelt while visiting Brazil), they are actually fairly timid, nervous and inactive, except when hungry. They will play dead when frightened. The distinctive feature is the red belly, highlighted against a silver/grey body. They are very similar in appearance to the Red Pacu, which is not a piranha. Piranhas grow very slowly. ... more

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