The Black Piranha has the most powerful bite of any fish.

The extinct giant piranha had most forceful fish bite in history of the planet-

Move over sharks. The new scientific report “Mega-Bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas,” shows the incredible force of the bite of the piranha and tells how the not so big fish does it.  The 3 foot long Megapiranha, which haunted ancient Argentine waters 10-million years ago, had the strongest bite of any predator in the waters in the planet’s history.

The largest existing piranha, the Black piranha, can bite with a force 30 times its weight. This was determined in an expedition to the waters of Amazon tributaries put together by National Geographic.

A recent (2010) science fiction movie portrays a new kind of Megapiranha, genetically engineered, swimming from Venezuela to Florida where it wrecks havoc and even eats some battleships and resists a nuclear missile! The expedition did not find that kind of a big biter.

The actual Black piranha is 8-15 inches long. Amazingly, we discovered it can purchased on-line.  Have any been released into Florida waters? Perhaps they can eat the Burmese python that have taken up residence there.







  1. Mark L Avatar
    Mark L

    If one is found in Florida one day, I’m holding you somewhat responsible for that comment! (j/k)

  2. WM Avatar

    Years ago, when I got out of graduate school I thought it would be neat to add to an already rather large array of tropical aquariums with both fresh and saltwater fish. My room-mate was really into it, and I felt compelled to make my contribution to the exhibit. So, we went Denver, and I bought 4 red breasted piranhas (also called red bellied piranha which are colorful and supposedly the most ferocious subspecies of those currently living). They were purchased legally from a pet shop. Each was about the size of a quarter. Nearly a year later, and after a copious and constant supply of gold fish and chicken hearts, these fish were a bit larger than a man’s billfold. One had a crooked tail and was a bit stunted, leaving it continually smaller than the others, as they grew. One day the runt was there, and the next completely gone, its sizable teeth as well.

    I was cleaning the “show tank” in which they were kept (6 ft long and about 9 inches wide), and had taken out about half the water,stirring the gravel to siphon off the dirty water. One of the piranhas jumped out onto the carpeted floor. In bare feet and with bare hands I wasn’t sure what to do. Went to the kitchen and got a plastic juice pitcher and a wooden spoon. While trying to scoop this guy, flopping while flopping around, he managed to take a sizable chunk out of the hardwood spoon. Instaneously I gained respect for the power and size of the bite, very glad I did not attempt to pick him up as one normally would a fish that had escaped a tank, with just wetted bare hands.

    Also, the interesting thing about a piranha bite is that it removes all the flesh, so what remains is mostly a round hole in your skin, and dependent on jaw size, more than an inch in diameter and 1/2-3/4 inch deep. That can do some real damage, bleeding etc. since there is no skin flap to go over the wound, to apply pressure, or any easy way to stop the blood flow as with a knife cut that leaves flesh to eventually close and for blood coagulation.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan


      An amazing story! Thanks.

      One thing I can’t quite understand, is how, despite the amazing bite, the Piranha gets the force to pull away the bite of flesh. I mean its fins don’t look large enough to generate all that much propulsion. It must sever off the flesh completely with every bite.

  3. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    If it can be bought and released it probably has been.

  4. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    I posted another account of this, mistakenly, on a another thread that was, apparently, summarily deleted


    Not only is the point about introducing an invasive species, as in this case, but to also point out that there are some here that are allowed to post whatever they want, regardless of the content, while others are not.

    So once again (turn on the satire) these would make the perfect x-mass gift for those posters that seem to have a fascination with male genitalia. I guess it is not the size of your balls but the size of you check that matters(satire off)

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Jeff E and others,

      I happened to be on-line and saw that Jeff E commented on the wrong thread and posted again saying he did. So I deleted both.

      I’m glad he commented again. I can’t move comments from one thread to another.

      1. JEFF E Avatar
        JEFF E

        thanks Ralph,
        I guess I got ahead of my self there and apologize for that.

    2. Nancy Avatar

      🙂 🙂 😉


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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