The electric eel (Electrophorus electricus) is a South American electric fish and is known for its strong electric charge discharges measuring around 550 to 600 V, enough to upset other fish perhaps even a human. This electric charge it typically uses for the self-defense. It is an apex predator inhabiting South America. It is, in fact, not an eel rather a knife fish. Here I have described some of the most useful electric eel facts that most people aren’t aware of. The electric eel breathes through its mouth and it drowns if it has no access to air. It takes air into the mouth at regular intervals from few seconds to several minutes. They have a cylindrical elongated body that grows to length of about 2 meters (6 ft 7 in), with a weight averaging 20 kg (44 lb). The adult males display darker color at the belly.
Electric Eel Facts
- There are around 5,000 to 6,000 stacked electroplaques which are capable of generating 500 volts of current. Shock of this much intensity can be fatal to adult humans. Heart fibrillation is likely to occur from the currents ranging from 70 to 700 mA and higher.
- It spends much of its time resting in the muddy waters at the bottom.
- They are not fast-movers or perhaps they don’t need to as they can prey with their amazing adaptations of generating high voltage of currents.
- Like many other electric fishes, electric eel is nocturnal. It will begin to hunt at night for anything small enough to be slurped into its capacious paw.
- Electric eel is an air-breather as it takes about 80% of its oxygen from gulping air at the surface. Therefore, they can die if they won’t come to the surface on time.
- An electric eel can be six to nine feet in length.
- It does not have any teeth.
- They live in waters where the oxygen level is too low. These waters are murky where other fish do not want to live.
Where Do Electric Eels Live | Electric Eel Facts
Electric eels are found in the fresh waters of Orinoco and Amazon River basins of South America. They make their habitats in coastal plains, swamps, floodplains, and creeks. They are also found to live in muddy bottoms in calm and stagnant waters.
What Do Electric Eels Eat
Electric eels are known to feed on invertebrates including shrimps and crabs; while adult eels also prey on small mammals and fish.
Reproduction | Electric Eel Facts
The electric eels are known for their odd breeding behavior. The females are much greater than the males. The female is known to lay as many as 3,000 eggs. The male builds a nest from his saliva while the female lays eggs into it. According to a study, around 17,000 young will hatch from the eggs in a single nest.