Eel electric - inhabitants of the muddy waters of the Amazon

Eel electric - inhabitants of the muddy waters of the Amazon
Eel electric - inhabitants of the muddy waters of the Amazon

Electric eel (photo can be seen in this article) belongs to the class Bony fish from the family Electric eels. It lives in the middle and lower tributaries of the Amazon and in small rivers in the northeast of South America. This is a large fish, its average length is from 1 to 1.5 m, but there are also three-meter individuals weighing up to 40 kg.

eels electric

Electric eels have a scaleless, naked snake-like body, which is covered with a thin layer of mucus and is somewhat laterally compressed in the back. Color can be called camouflage. In juveniles, it is a uniform, olive brown, while adults have a bright orange color on the underside of the head and on the throat. The eyes are small and there is one row of small teeth in the mouth. The ventral and dorsal fins are absent, the pectoral fins are very small, only the anal fin is well developed. It is with its help that the electric eel swims perfectly in all directions. Fishing place - the bottom of the river, where he prefers to hide among the algae. That's where you need to catch the eel.

Usually in his habitats the waters are muddy,slow-flowing with a minimum oxygen content. Therefore, these fish in the mouth have special zones of vascular tissue, which allows them to absorb oxygen from atmospheric air. In other words, electric eels are forced from time to time to rise to the surface of the water for several minutes in order to get a portion of fresh air.

electric eel photo

Why are they called electric? The fact is that this species is capable of generating discharges of electricity. Usually one such discharge is 350 V, but especially large individuals are capable of generating voltages up to 650 V, which is dangerous even for humans. How does this happen? Electric eels have a special organ that occupies most of their body and consists of special cells. They are interconnected in a sequential order by branches of nerves. Plus is located in the front of the body, and in the back - minus. Weak electric charges are created at the beginning of the body, and by the end of their journey they are summed up, and their power increases several times. This fish is also called a living battery.

The discharge of a large specimen can stun even a solid opponent. Although it is worth noting that electric eels mainly feed on small fish. So why do they need such power? It must be said that this species remains poorly understood to this day, for example, it is still unknown how they reproduce. And such discharges are most likely necessary for self-defense, because they use no more than 300 V for hunting. Having stunned or killed the fish in this way, the eels sink to the bottom after itand swallow it whole there.

electric eel fish spot

In addition to the described electrical organs, this type of eel has one more additional one, which plays the role of a locator. With its help, fish emit location low-frequency discharges. They return from the obstacles ahead and possible prey, and thus the eels get the information they need. They attack without warning and even in case of danger do not try to hide. Therefore, if a similar eel appeared on your way, then it is better to give way to it first, especially a large individual. Perhaps its electric discharge will not kill you, but you can completely lose consciousness from it. So it would be wiser to retreat to a safe distance.

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