Home Life Trends Electric Eel - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Electric Eel - Facts, Habitat, Diet and Information

Electric Eel facts and info. Know Electric Eel weight loss program, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so on See fascinating facts of Electric Eel in our animal facts archive.

Scientific identify: Electrophorus electricus
Scientific classification:
Phylum: Chordata 
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Gymnotiformes
Family: Gymnotidae 

What does it appear to be? The grownup electrical eel is an extended, snakelike animal reaching lengths of two.5 m and weights of 20 kg. In holding with their serpentine type, they lack tail, pectoral, and dorsal fins; nonetheless, the anal fin is properly shaped and extends nearly the entire size of the physique. The entire physique is cylindrical, with a flattened head and a big mouth. The pores and skin of this fish ranges from gray to brownish/black with a white/yellow patch beneath the chin and throat.

Where does it reside? The electrical eel is native to the rivers and lakes of northern South America. It is discovered within the Guyanas, Orinico, and decrease parts of the Amazon River. They are backside dwelling creatures, lurking amongst the mud and detritus of rivers and swamps, usually in closely shaded areas.


The electrical eel of South America is a sluggish creature that spends a lot of its time resting on the underside or slinking by the muddy waters of its dwelling. It doesn’t really want to be a quick mover, for it has a crafty technique of defending itself and capturing food. At a look, there appears to be little or no about this fish that's particular, and but the electrical eel, as its identify suggests, has some superb diversifications. The important organs of the eel are all contained inside the entrance part of the animal and solely take up about 20 p.c of the fish’s inner quantity, significantly lower than different fish.

The remainder of the eel isn’t only a fatty lump or empty house however is given over to three separate teams of modified muscle groups which have lengthy since given up contracting to present motion. These are the fish’s batteries, its electrical organs. The cells within the fish’s foremost electrical organ type 5,000-6,000 disks, stacked like plates. The tiny electrical impulses produced by every of these plates are harnessed and channeled to produce a flow {of electrical} power that's utilized by the fish in quite a few methods. Normally, the electrical energy generated by the fish may be very weak and is produced by the Sach’s organ as a pulsating sign. This is the eel’s sixth sense, the so-known as electrosense, which is distorted by inanimate objects within the water and can due to this fact be used as a approach to navigate by the cloudy waters of swamps and gradual shifting rivers, an actual benefit when the visibility is shut to zero. This sixth sense can be used to find food. All organisms have {an electrical} subject, and it these auras that the eel additionally detects with its electrosense, exploiting them to dwelling in on unsuspecting aquatic animals. Aside from navigation and finding food, {the electrical} subject will be cranked up to most by the primary and Hunter’s organs when the eel is at risk or senses the shut proximity of a large snack. In a burst of brief, sharp discharges, the eel can generate 650 volts with a 1 ampere present. This pulsing burst of electrical energy travels by the water and is potent sufficient to kill a human or perhaps a horse over a distance of 6 m. It takes the fish numerous power to generate these excessive voltages, however they'll do it intermittently for no less than an hour, sustaining the energy of every shock.

Key Facts

  • Confusingly, the electrical eel isn't actually an eel; it simply occurs to appear to be one. It is the truth is a kind of knife fish.
  • The means to generate, retailer, and use electrical energy isn't restricted to the electrical eel. Many different fish share this talent. The solely species in a position to generate voltages even partially comparable to the electrical eel are the African electrical catfish and the torpedo rays, of which there are 69 species. There are many different sorts of weakly electrical fish, such because the stargazers, elephant noses, many sorts of knife fish and skate. In all of these, besides the electrical eel, the electrical catfish, and the torpedo ray, the electrical energy is used to find food or to navigate. Electricity era is comparatively uncommon in marine fish, however is extra widespread in these freshwater species inhabiting murky water. The solely mammal identified to have an electrosense is the duck-billed platypus.
  • The electrical eel, like many different electrical fish is nocturnal. It will hunt at night time for something sufficiently small to be sucked into its capacious maw.
  • The battery-like skills of the electrical eel isn't the one fascinating attribute of this fish. It can be an air breather and obtains round 80 p.c of its oxygen from surfacing and gulping air. The oxygen enters the blood by the liner of the mouth. Air respiration permits the fish to reside in water the place there's little or no dissolved oxygen.
  • The electrical eel can be uncommon for it breeding conduct. In the dry season, a male eel makes a nest from his saliva into which the feminine lays her eggs. As many as 17,000 younger will hatch from the eggs in a single nest.
  • The powers of the electrical fish are troublesome to miss, and they've been identified since historic instances. The historic Romans would stand in a shallow bathtub with a torpedo ray and be electrocuted to alleviate the signs of gout.
  • Electric eels have at all times been excessive on the listing of courageous (or silly) zoo collectors. Catching an electrical eel isn't simple, so the one answer was to make the eels tire themselves out with continuous discharging. Some unfortunate horses or mules have been pushed right into a pool of water harboring quite a few the fish the place they'd have acquired sufficient shocks to no less than knock them out. The fish’s batteries would ultimately drain, permitting the collectors to go in with nets and stout boots.