What does an electric eel eat

Electric eel


What do electric eels look like?

Electric eels are not eels. Rather, they form their own subordination, namely that of the trembling and knife eels.

Since their body looks like that of our native river eel, they are still called eels.

Electric eels have a long, serpentine body with a broad, flattened head and a powerful mouth.

The body is slightly thickened behind the head: all organs are located in this part of the body.

Most of the fish is made up of the long tail. Electric eels can grow up to 2.8 meters long and weigh up to 20 kilograms. Males become significantly larger than females.

The body of the electric eels is round in cross-section, they have no scales and no dorsal, caudal or ventral fins.

Where can I find electric eels?

Electric eels are only at home in tropical South America. They are most commonly found in the streams of the Amazon basin and the Orinoco.

Where do electric eels live?

Electric eels are pure freshwater fish. They prefer the large, calm flowing rivers, the water of which is muddy and low in oxygen. They do not occur in fast flowing waters. They live mainly in rivers with a temperature of 23 ° to 28 ° Celsius.

What types of electric eels are there?

Four families belong to the subordination of the electric eels and the knife eels: the electric eels, the real knife eels, the caudal fin knife eels and the American knife fish. There are a total of 40 different types of quiver and knife eel.

How old do electric eels get?

So far nothing is known about the life expectancy of electric eels.

How do electric eels live?

Electric eels are very special fish: four fifths of their bodies are made up of the tail muscle, which is transformed into an electrical organ.

They can use it to deliver huge electric shocks. These electric shocks can reach a voltage of up to 700 volts.

Other types of fish can generate electric shocks as well, but only electric eels reach such high voltages. Electric rays, for example, can only produce shocks of 200 volts.

Electric eels kill or paralyze their prey with their electric shocks: With the help of their long tails, they can stalk their victims almost unnoticed. They can generate four to eight electrical surges within two to three thousandths of a second. An electric eel can give off up to 150 electrical surges in one hour.

Electric eels were therefore very much feared by the Indians in South America in the past - because under certain circumstances the electric shocks from an electric eel can even kill a person or a horse.

The first to report about the electric eels was the famous naturalist Alexander von Humbold.

Electric eels use electric shocks not only to steal prey, but also to defend themselves in case of danger.

In addition, weaker current surges serve as orientation in the murky river water and to delimit the territory. With the help of special sensory cells, electric eels can perceive when other animals enter the electrical field emanating from their body.

Electric eels have another special feature that sets them apart from other fish: their gills are so atrophied in the course of their development that they have to absorb oxygen through the skin in the oral cavity. Therefore, they have to come to the surface of the water every 15 minutes to breathe.

Electric eels are nocturnal animals. That's why they only have very small eyes. During the day they rest by digging into the muddy underground of the rivers.

Electric eels friends and enemies

Electric eels have almost no enemies because they can defend themselves with their strong electric shocks.

How do electric eels reproduce?

Electric eels seek their partner for mating with the help of electric shocks: However, they only produce weak blows that a potential partner can feel in the murky water. Reproduction usually takes place between September and December. The males build nests from aquatic plants and guard the eggs and later the larvae. These are just ten centimeters long when they hatch.

How do electric eels hunt?

Electric eels are predatory fish. They hunt fish, amphibians and small mammals. They hunt their prey and stun them with electric shocks.

What do electric eels eat?

Electric eels kill prey such as fish, amphibians and mammals with the help of electric shocks.

Young electric eels initially feed on invertebrates such as freshwater shrimp, which live at the bottom of the rivers.