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Temporal range: Late Miocene (Huayquerian)
~9.0–6.8 Ma
Megapiranha Colossoma.jpg
Comparison of M. paranensis and the tambaqui
Scientific classification

Cione et al. 2009
M. paranensis
Binomial name
Megapiranha paranensis
Cione et al. 2009

Megapiranha is an extinct serrasalmid characin fish from the Late Miocene (8–10 million years ago) Ituzaingó Formation of Argentina, described in 2009.[1] The type species is M. paranensis.[2] It is thought to have been about 71 centimetres (28 in) in length and 10 kilograms (22 lb) in weight.[3] The holotype consists only of premaxillae and a zigzag tooth row; the rest of its body is unknown.[4] This dentition is reminiscent of both the double-row seen in pacus, and the single row seen in the teeth of modern piranhas, suggesting that M. paranensis is a transitional form. Its bite force is estimated between 1,240–4,749 N (279–1,068 lbf).[3]


  1. ^ Live Science: Toothy 3-foot Piranha Fossil Found
  2. ^ Megapiranha at
  3. ^ a b Grubich, J.R.; Huskey, S.; Crofts, S.; Orti, G.; Porto, J. (2012). "Mega-Bites: Extreme jaw forces of living and extinct piranhas (Serrasalmidae)". Scientific Reports. 2: 1009. doi:10.1038/srep01009. PMC 3526859. PMID 23259047.
  4. ^ Cione, Alberto Luis; Dahdul, Wasila M.; Lundberg, John G.; Machado-Allison, Antonio (2009). "Megapiranha paranensis, a new genus and species of Serrasalmidae (Characiformes, Teleostei) from the Upper Miocene of Argentina". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 29 (2): 350. doi:10.1671/039.029.0221. (Summary of the paper).

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