An eel skeleton supports the body structure of the eel. The eel's skeleton is characterized by its elongated skull and a long series of vertebrae. All eels are bony fish that belong to the class Actinopterygii.
Approximately 800 species of eel exist, divided between 20 families,11 genera and four suborders. Most species of eels live in the sand, mud or rocks of the ocean, although some spend time in freshwater before returning to the sea to breed. As larvae, eels drift in ocean currents and subsist on marine snow until growing large enough to assume their adult behaviors. Some species of eel, such as the American eel and the Japanese eel, are popular in cuisine.