Skip to main content

Electric Eel

(Image Source)
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Actinopterygii
Order : Gymnotiformes
Family : Gymnotidae
Genus : Electrophorus
Species : electricus

Length : Up to 6-8ft (2-2.5m)
Weight : 40lbs (20kg)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

Did you know that despite the name, Electric Eels are more closely related to Catfish then they are to actual Eels? These curious creatures are actually members of an Order known as "Knifefishes" and they are found in the freshwater basins of the Amazon and Orinoco Rivers.

Electric Eels are major predators within their watery domains. Unsurprisingly, this is due to the large amount of electricity that they can release to stun their prey. Their bodies are home to about 6,000 specialized cells known as electrocytes. They store up power than can be discharged quickly at a strength of about 600 volts. While swimming around, Electric Eels emit much lower, 10 volt shocks that help them to navigate and hunt in the murky water. They feed off of fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians, small mammals. Due to their electric nature, they have very few predators of their own.

So are Electric Eels dangerous to humans? There have been some fatalities, but they are not at all common. Repeated shocks can induce heart attacks, while other shocks have lead to paralysis and drowning.

Electric Eels also have the interesting ability to breathe air outside of water. Almost 80% of their oxygen comes from gulping up air at the surface. The rivers that they live in are murky and have low oxygen levels, and this breathing method allows them to survive at their large sizes.


  1. Thank you for the info. It sounds pretty user friendly. I guess I’ll pick one up for fun. thank u

    Electric Salamanders

  2. thank you


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Greater Kudu

Tragelaphus strepsiceros The Greater Kudu is one of the largest Antelope species out there, which the largest males standing over 5ft tall at the shoulder and weighing over 600lbs. They sport horns that equally as impressive in size-- the record is 72in. You'll find the Greater Kudus in southern and eastern Africa, where they inhabit scrub woodlands. Their brown coloration and white stripes allow them to remain camouflaged within these woody surroundings. The Kudus are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend the daytime hours hidden in these forested areas. However, their stripes are not their only defensive mechanism; they also sport very large ears that allow them to hear approaching danger. When alerted, the Antelope can try and bound away to safety. Female Greater Kudus tend to live in moderately sized groups with other females and offspring. Most mature males are solitary, and will only join up with these herds during the breeding period that corresponds with the end


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a