E is for Electric eel

eel webElectric eels. Not technically an eel (this guy is a knifefish) but definitely electric. It’s so unusual that it has been reclassified several times.

Growing up to 2 meters long, four-fifths of its body are electricity producing organs capable of producing a short burst at  860 volts! Not enough to kill an adult human but useful in zapping small fish, mammals, but mostly crabs and other invertebrates.

I really enjoy finding interesting colours in animals which look dull and brown at first but electric eels have that lovely orangey-red chin. Being a murky brown makes sense in the dingy swamps and rivers of South America they live in where they  can disappear and sneak up on their prey. The colourful chin is darker on mature males and may be a signal to potential mates.

 

Other contenders for E:

  • Echidna
  • Emperor Penguin

Want electric eels laptop covers and things? Look here

 

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