Q:

What eats electric eels?

A:

Quick Answer

The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) does not have any natural predators. It is the apex predator in its food chain in the fresh waters of the Amazon and Orinoco River basins.

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Full Answer

The electric eel, despite its name, is not technically an eel, according to National Geographic. It is a type of gymnotiform, or "knife-fish," a group of teleost bony fishes capable of producing an electric field.

Electric eels are capable of generating powerful electric shocks of up to 600 volts, which they use for hunting, self-defense and communicating with others of their kind. Juveniles produce smaller amounts of electricity, around 100 volts.

Electric eels primarily feed on invertebrates, but adults have been known to consume fish and small mammals. They are air breathers and must come to the surface frequently.

Because of their supreme defense and attack abilities, electric eels have no natural predators. Few other animals are willing to take them on. Humans are among the only creatures to ever kill electric eels, although this is rare. Even capturing an electric eel for zoos or private collections is difficult, as the only reasonable option is to tire the eel out by goading it into continually discharging its electricity. Electric eels are capable of producing intermittent shocks for over an hour, but eventually their electric organs become completely discharged, allowing for easy capture.

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