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What you need to know about eels? Eels are best known for their elongated shape that resembles that of a snake. An eel is a fish that is part of the order Anguilliformes. There are many suborders, families and genera under this order. Hence, you can refer to many different types of eels when you refer to the name.

What you need to know about eels? It is also used to describe other fishes that are similar in shape, such as electric eels or European eels. However, calling them eels is a misnomer because they do not actually belong to the order of Anguilliformes. The most distinctive feature of eels is their elongated shape. Eels are able to swim underwater by producing body waves that allow their bodies to travel. They also have the ability to swim backwards by simply reversing the waves’ direction. The earliest life form of eels is that of flat and transparent larvae.

What you need to know about eels? From there, they drift to the sea surface wherein they feed on marine snow that often floats on the surface of the water. The eel larvae go through a metamorphosis wherein they turn into elvers before becoming the full shape of an eel. Most eels thrive in freshwater conditions and even have the ability to travel upstream.

Where Do Eels Come From?

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What you need to know about eels? The origin of electric eels was traced to the Amazon and the murky rivers of South America. They feed mainly on fish, birds, amphibians and small mammals. Even though they have poor eyesight, they emit small electrical charges that act as radar. This enables them to spot preys within their range. As for human deaths, there exist no records yet of fatality resulting from electrical eels. But it can be dangerous when humans are jolted by the charge emitted by an electrical eel, especially in the water, as it can lead to drowning or multiple shocks. Among all species of eels, electrical eels have garnered the most attention. Despite their similar appearance to eels, they are not actually eels. They are often scientifically classified as belonging to the same species as carps and catfishes.

Electric eels, like eels, are also naturally predators that thrive in freshwater. The name is derived from the fact that they generate an enormous amount of electrical charge. They use this ability to stun their prey. This is responsible for storing power – it acts like a battery. When they want to attack on a prey, the electrocytes will discharge a burst of electricity simultaneously.

Eel Facts 101

What you need to know about eels? If most of the things you know about electrifying facts about eels are limited to what you have seen from the movies or cartoons, then you’re not alone. As a matter of fact, most people have so many misconceptions about this majestic sea creature. You may think those movies have overplayed the abilities of this animal, but if there’s one thing those movies and cartoons have taught, they’re right to say we should avoid them. Here are more interesting, if not shocking (pun intended) facts about electric eels that you should know.

Fact #1

Despite their electrifying facts eel-like appearance the name is actually a misleading common name, used primarily to describe the electric eel. They’re not even closely related to real eels which are the Anguilloformes. They’re actually fish, particularly a knife fish, belonging to order Gymnotiformes, which are rather related to catfish and carps. Male and female electric eels have quite an odd, if not gross way to lay eggs; the males will use its saliva and spit to form a nest, the females will then lay thousands of eggs on the nest, they will then both stick around to guard their nest and protect their offspring until their young reach around 5 inches long. The well-guarded nest will house and hatch about 1,200 baby eels.

Fact #2

What you need to know about eels? By now, you may already know their capability to discharge electricity from their special organs called electrocytes to hunt their prey and ward off predators. However, that’s not the only purpose of their electric capabilities. Since they usually live in muddy waters, they don’t have good eyesight. They actually use electricity like a radar system.

These animals discharge small pulses and use their senses to scan their environment and find potential preys. Contrary to what most people think, electrifying facts don’t always discharge electricity in all directions, as they can also concentrate their electric powers to their target by curling up. They often use this clever strategy to handle awkward and fast-moving preys. They bite down on their prey, curl around and hold their prey with their tail before discharging electricity. It’s their best way of concentrating their electric charge to seriously hurt, incapacitate or even kill their prey.

Fact #3

For decades, there have been stories of electric eels jumping off the river, electrocuting people passing by, even those riding their horses. This has never been scientifically proven, until just recently, when scientists recorded this incredible phenomenon on camera.Electric eels are actually strong and powerful enough to jump off the water, cling to their prey outside the water and discharge a powerful charge to electrocute their target. They can even bend their neck to keep in contact with their target. If the scary snake-like appearance and electric capability are not enough to scare you, then it might help you to know electric eels are gigantic animals. They can reach up to 8 feet long in the wild; imagine the vicious power of that eel.

Keep In Mind

What you need to know about eels? There are great deals of species to take into consideration. They can originate from different parts of the globe and different environments meaning there are tropical, subtropical and also even warm types. When they are kept with various other bigger fish, you must recognize they are mainly calm. Black Ghost Knifefish makes a prominent tank companion selection. These fresh water types would make a terrific addition to the tanks of both newbie as well as specialist fish keepers alike, providing you do you research ahead of time which you have the moment to provide them with the appropriate care.

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