What Are Some Facts About Electric Eels?


Quick Answer

Electric eels are interesting and unusual animals, who are famous for their electricity-generating abilities. Electric eels are not actually eels; instead, they are unusual fish that lack most of the scales that typical fish possess.

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Full Answer

Electric eels inhabit sluggish, mud-bottomed rivers and ponds in the Amazon and Orinoco river drainage systems. Electric eels feed on a variety of aquatic prey, including fish, amphibians, shrimps and crabs. Electric eels have relatively few predators and they serve as apex predators in the ecosystem.

Scientific American explains that the reason electric eels don't electrocute themselves is because they only generate the electric charge for a very brief time. When the eel discharges the electricity, the associated organs in their bodies fire simultaneously. Most of the eel’s body is comprised of electricity producing organs, as the bulk of their internal organs are found near their heads.

Electric eels produce more electricity than any other electricity-producing species in the world. The National Aquarium explains that electric eels can produce 600 volts of electricity. The eels use their electricity producing capabilities to defend themselves from predators, stun or kill their prey and to help navigate through the muddy waters in which they live. In fact, electric eels are almost completely blind.

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